Colorimetric co 2 indicators are not useful for

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excluded. Colorimetric CO 2 indicators are not useful for physiologic monitoring or assessing the adequacy of ventilation, which requires arterial blood gas analysis or continous end-tidal carbon dioxide analysis. After determining the proper position of the tube, secure it in place. If the patient is moved, reassess tube placement with auscultation of both lateral lung fields for equality of breath sounds and by reassessment for exhaled CO 2 . If orotracheal intubation is unsuccessful on the first attempt or if the cords are difficult to visualize, use a GEB and initiate further preparations for difficult airway management. Drug-Assisted Intubation In some cases, intubation is possible and safe without the use of drugs. The use of anesthetic, sedative, and neuromuscular blocking drugs for endotracheal intubation in trauma patients is potentially danger- ous. Yet occasionally, the need for an airway justifies the risk of administering these drugs; therefore, it is important to understand their pharmacology, be skilled in the techniques of endotracheal intubation, and be capable of securing a surgical airway if neces-sary. Drug-assisted intubation is indicated in patients who need airway control, but have intact gag reflexes, especially in patients who have sustained head injuries. The technique for drug-assisted intubation is as follows: 1. Have a plan in the event of failure that includes the possibility of performing a surgical airway. Know where your rescue airway equipment is located. 2. Ensure that suction and the ability to deliver positive pressure ventilation are ready. 3. Preoxygenate the patient with 100% oxygen. 4. Apply pressure over the cricoid cartilage. 5. Administer an induction drug (e.g., etomidate, 0.3 mg/kg) or sedative, according to local protocol. 6. Administer 1 to 2 mg/kg succinylcholine intra- venously (usual dose is 100 mg). After the patient relaxes: 7. Intubate the patient orotracheally. 8. Inflate the cuff and confirm tube placement by auscultating the patient’s chest and determining the presence of CO 2 in exhaled air. 9. Release cricoid pressure. 10. Ventilate the patient. The drug etomidate (Amidate) does not negatively affect blood pressure or intracranial pressure, but it can depress adrenal function and is not universally available. This drug does provide adequate sedation, which is advantageous in these patients. Use etomidate and other sedatives with great care to avoid loss of the airway as the patient becomes sedated. Then administer succinylcholine, which is a short-acting drug. It has a rapid onset of paralysis (<1 minute) and duration of 5 minutes or less. The most dangerous complication of using sedation and neuromuscular blocking agents is the inability to establish an airway. If endotracheal intubation is unsuccessful, the patient must be ventilated with a bag-mask device until the paralysis resolves; long-acting drugs are not routinely used for RSI for this reason. Because of the potential for severe hyperkalemia, succinylcholine must be used cautiously in patients with severe crush injuries, major burns, and electrical injuries. Extreme

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