Maintenance of patent airway, adequate ventilation, and pulmonary gas exchange is very important in critically ill patients. Airway management in intensive care patients differs significantly from routine surgical procedures in the operating room. The airway competence in intensive care unit (ICU) should be coping with the rapidly evolving advances in airway management. Therefore, efforts should be focused on the three pillars of airway master: airway providers as intensivists or critical care physicians, equipment, and operational plans. Not all institutions can afford all airway equipment in the market; however, they should make sure that critical care providers have a full access to the available tools and they are comfortable using it. Educational sessions and refresher courses should be tailored to meet the competence level of the ICU providers and equipment availability. Operational plan includes developing institutional airway protocols and implementing difficult airway guidelines. The protocols should consider different staffing models of ICU and make sure all the time at least one member of the team with the highest experience in airway should be always available. The aim of writing this chapter is to enable the intensivist to optimize their use of airway equipment and managing high‐risk patients in ICU.
Part of the book: Intensive Care