Endotracheal intubation may be required when respiratory distress or airway integrity cannot be achieved or maintained for any reason. It should be considered that intubation may be required when evaluating the patient, and that in the long term, airway protection will be needed or that the problem cannot be solved by noninvasive ventilation via airway aids and devices. Identifying the problem causing the patient’s respiratory failure helps in making the decision to intubate. In fact, the clinician must be fast and self-confident when deciding on intubation. It is difficult to decide in some complex situations. It is very important to evaluate the patient, according to clinical status, age, and comorbidity, and to determine urgent intubation need. In non-diagnostic cases, further research is needed to investigate the causes of the condition such as hypoxia/hypercapnia resulting in patient respiratory distress. Different voice tone, swallowing difficulties, coughing attacks, stridor, dyspnea can be a sign of upper airway obstruction. Arterial blood gas analysis will facilitate our decision to make intubation. Non-invasive pulse oximetry and continuous capnography values may also be a guide, but the most important thing is that delayed intubation decision may bring life-threatening situations.
Part of the book: Tracheal Intubation