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Airway management in the critically ill patient with COVID-19

May 26, 2022

Purpose of review
Critically ill Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients needing endotracheal intubation are on the verge of rapid decompensation. The aims of this review were to assess the risks, the preoxygenation, the device and the hemodynamic management of a patient with COVID-19.
Recent findings
The proceduralist performing endotracheal intubation with the entire team are at an increased risk for exposure to COVID-19. Appropriate personal protective equipment and other measures remain essential. For preoxygenation, noninvasive ventilation allows higher oxygen saturation during intubation in severely hypoxemic patients and can be associated with apneic oxygenation and mask ventilation during apnea in selected cases. The COVID-19 pandemic has further highlighted the place of videolaryngoscopy during intubation in intensive care unit (ICU). Hemodynamic optimization is mandatory to limit hypotension and cardiac arrest associated with airway management.
Summary
Future trials will better define the role of videolaryngoscopy, apneic oxygenation and mask ventilation during apnea for intubation of COVID-19 patients in ICU. The use of fluid loading and vasopressors remains to be investigated in large randomized controlled studies. Choosing the right time for intubation remains uncertain in clinical practice, and future works will probably help to identify earlier the patients who will need intubation.
Keywords
airway, COVID-19, critically ill patients, intensive care unit