Paramedic/Contributing Editor Overrun Productions, LLC Toms River, New Jersey
Advanced airway management, especially the use of rapid sequence intubation (RSI), has been commonly held as a procedure that only Advanced Life Support clinicians need to understand and perform. RSI can have significant effects on the patients who are determined to need airway management, both positive and negative. It can be a high-stress, high-acuity, procedure with a narrow therapeutic window. Frequently ignored in RSI education has been the BLS clinician, who is present for each RSI. The goal of the program is to educate the EMT in the process of advanced airway management, especially RSI, and how they can contribute to the overall success of a procedure that has a significant effect on patient outcomes. We strongly believe it is the EMT that is the "X factor" in successful and consistent RSI outcomes.
Understand the terminology of advanced airway management/RSI, goals of therapy, misconceptions of RSI, its importance in prehospital patient care. State of New Jersey RSI program will be referenced.
Describe the procedure of RSI, patient selection, determining difficulty, preparation, medication, securing the airway, and confirmation. EMTs will identify key areas where BLS knowledge and skills are important steps.
Identify pitfalls in procedure, such as preoxygentation, suction, and communication; and how the BLS clinician can contribute within their scope of practice to minimize the effects of these problems.
Communication between ALS/BLS and human factors will be identified. The BLS clinician will learn to identify areas where they can improve in communication and avoid common errors.