The Awake Intubation Video

Awake intubation can save your butt!

In EMCrit Podcast 18, we discuss RSI’s less popular sibling: awake intubation. It requires forethought and humility–you must be able to say to yourself, “I am not sure I will be able to successfully intubate this patient.” However, the payoff for this thought process is enormous. You can attempt an intubation on a difficult airway with very few downsides. If you get it, you look like a star, if you don’t you have not made the situation worse.

It all comes down to what is best for our patients. If the airway is predicted to be difficult and you perform RSI or even worse, a sedation-only intubation and you fail, then the morbidity/mortality that ensues was preventable.

Two of my critical care resident specialists, Raghu Seethala and Xun Zhong, volunteered to intubate each other awake. The purpose of this was to let them gain experience, understand what their patients would feel during the procedure, and to prove that awake intubation can be done without complicated nerve block injections or fragile equipment, such as a bronchoscope.

[Click Here to See the Video and Read More]

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  1. #1 by Becky miranti - April 27th, 2017 at 17:27

    I was sexually abused as a child. I would go crazy if I was awake! Also, is the patient asleep during the time after It is placed, until time to remove it, with either type of placement?

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