Emergency ventilation is an essential component of basic life support. Respiratory emergencies occur far more frequently than cardiac arrest and, if not treated promptly and effectively, may lead to cardiac arrest. Many respiratory emergencies require assisted ventilation to prevent the occurrence of hypoxemia, hypercarbia, and cardiac decompensation. Emergency assisted ventilation is often difficult to perform and is associated with several adverse complications, such as gastric inflation, regurgitation, and pulmonary aspiration. The American Heart Association sponsored conferences in 1999 and 2000 to review and revise guidelines for cardiopulmonary resuscitation. This article reviews the science behind guideline changes related to pulmonary resuscitation and discusses recent advances in emergency airway management, focusing on noninvasive techniques for ventilation (mouth-to-mouth ventilation, bag-mask ventilation) and alternative airway devices (laryngeal mask airway, the Combitube®).
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Emergency Medicine