The airway and the A&E nurse
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The airway and the A&E nurse

Nick Castle Resuscitation Training Officer, Frimley Park Hospital, Frimley

Effective airway maintenance and ventilation are a cornerstones of A&E nursing. Nick Castle examines the types of airway devices available and how they can be used to support nursing practice

The aim of this article is to review basic and advanced methods of opening and clearing an airway and to discuss effective means of ventilation and oxygenation in A&E. As an A&E nurse, you are encouraged to look at your practice and ask yourself: ‘Am I providing the best for my patient?’ After reading this article you should be able to:

Describe and perform basic airway opening devices

Be aware of a range of airway adjuncts

Select an appropriate device for assisted ventilation; understand the rationale for its use

Discuss the merits of newer devices for advanced airway management and why such devices are more appropriate for use by non-anaesthetic trained staff

Emergency Nurse. 6, 10, 29-35. doi: 10.7748/en1999.03.6.10.29.c1233

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