How to assist in emergency tracheal intubation
how to series    

How to assist in emergency tracheal intubation

Christopher Williams Advanced critical care practitioner, Critical care, University Hospital of Wales, Heath Park, Cardiff, Wales
Emma Bennett Advanced critical care practitioner trainee, Critical care, University Hospital of Wales, Heath Park, Cardiff, Wales

Why you should read this article:
  • » To ensure your knowledge and skills in assisting in emergency tracheal intubation are up to date

  • » To promote a team approach to emergency tracheal intubation within your organisation, which ensures risks to patients are minimised, the trachea and lungs are protected from aspiration, and the airway is secured

  • » To understand the evidence base that supports the practice of emergency tracheal intubation

Rationale and key points

Emergency tracheal intubation has been widely advocated as a life-saving procedure in severe acute illness and injury, to secure the patient’s airway and provide oxygenation and ventilation. This article explains the process and actions required to assist in undertaking safe and effective emergency intubation of a patient with a compromised airway or respiratory function.

The role of the healthcare practitioner assisting in emergency intubation is vital, because failure to ventilate and intubate the patient is life-threatening.

The healthcare practitioner assisting the intubator must have the knowledge to assemble and check the equipment required for intubation, and must be able to position the patient appropriately to optimise success.

The healthcare practitioner assisting in emergency intubation requires appropriate knowledge and skills for the procedure to be performed safely. They must have the psychomotor skills required to assist the intubator, which involves handing them the equipment and connecting it in a timely manner. They should also understand the airway adjuncts that can be used should any difficulties be encountered in achieving intubation.

Reflective activity

‘How to’ articles can help to update your practice and ensure it remains evidence based. Apply this article to your practice. Reflect on and write a short account of:

How this article has changed your practice when assisting in emergency tracheal intubation.

How you could use this resource to educate colleagues on how to assist in emergency tracheal intubation.

Nursing Standard. doi: 10.7748/ns.2018.e11147

Citation

Williams C, Bennett E (2018) How to assist in emergency tracheal intubation. Nursing Standard. doi: 10.7748/ns.2018.e11147

Peer review

This article has been subject to external double-blind peer review and checked for plagiarism using automated software

@chriswillihams

Correspondence

Christopher.williams8@wales.nhs.uk

Conflict of interest

None declared

Disclaimer

Please note that information provided by Nursing Standard is not sufficient to make the reader competent to perform the task. All clinical skills should be formally assessed at the bedside by a nurse educator or mentor. It is the nurse’s responsibility to ensure their practice remains up to date and reflects the latest evidence

Published online: 12 July 2018

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