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Book and Media Reviews
August 19, 2009

Manual of Emergency Airway Management

JAMA. 2009;302(7):799-803. doi:10.1001/jama.2009.1219

The first 3 chapters of this book—“The Decision to Intubate,” “The Emergency Airway Algorithms,” and “Rapid Sequence Intubation”—are unusual opening chapters, because tracheal intubation is neither the first topic in teaching airway management nor the first approach to airway management. The 5 different algorithms in chapter 2—universal, main emergency, crash airway, difficult airway, and failed airway—contain repetitions that could have been avoided by combining all of the algorithms into one. The generally accepted phrase “can't intubate–can't ventilate” is changed to “can't intubate–can't oxygenate,” with the suggestion that cricothyrotomy is indicated in a majority of such cases. It should be noted, however, that extraglottic devices and other intubation techniques can be applied to overcome this problem, thereby limiting cricothyrotomy to a small number of cases.

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