Role of Point-of-Care Ultrasound in Emergency Airway Management Outside the Operating Room

Anesth Analg. 2023 Jan 24. doi: 10.1213/ANE.0000000000006371. Online ahead of print.


Tracheal intubation is one of the most frequently performed procedures in critically ill patients, and is associated with significant morbidity and mortality. Hemodynamic instability and cardiovascular collapse are common complications associated with the procedure, and are likely in patients with a physiologically difficult airway. Bedside point-of-care ultrasound (POCUS) can help identify patients with high risk of cardiovascular collapse, provide opportunity for hemodynamic and respiratory optimization, and help tailor airway management plans to meet individual patient needs. This review discusses the role of POCUS in emergency airway management, provides an algorithm to facilitate its incorporation into existing practice, and provides a framework for future studies.