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Intubation of the Trachea in the Critical Care Setting

Charles Natanson, MD; James H. Shelhamer, MD; Joseph E. Parrillo, MD
JAMA. 1985;253(8):1160-1165. doi:10.1001/jama.1985.03350320084023.
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SKILL at intubation of the trachea is an essential part of the medical repertoire of any physician who has primary care responsibility for patients in a critical care setting. It is common practice in hospitals today to perform tracheal intubation on an emergency or elective basis for ventilatory assistance, high-flow oxygen administration, bronchial hygiene, or airway protection. This article will give the physician not experienced in intubation a general background in the considerations and decisions the experienced laryngoscopist may make when intubating a critically ill patient. This article cannot hope to cover all the materials and techniques used in intubation, but will briefly discuss the key anatomy of the upper airway and the equipment, drugs, and techniques in intubation of the trachea that might be used in a critical care setting. The practice of intubation and airway management should be acquired in a controlled setting under knowledgeable supervision.

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The American Medical Association is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians. The AMA designates this journal-based CME activity for a maximum of 1 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM per course. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. Physicians who complete the CME course and score at least 80% correct on the quiz are eligible for AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM.
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