Airway Management .txt

  1. Airway Pathophysiology
    Patent Airway - is an airway (passage from nose or mouth to lungs) that is open and clear and will remain open and clear, without interference to the passage of air into and out of the body.

    Pharynx - the air enters the pharynx, which is divided into three regions: oropharnyx, nasopharynx, and the laryngopharynx. These structures surround the entrance to the trachea.
  2. Airway Pathophysiology
    Laryngopharynx - aka hypopharynx, is designed to provide structure to and protect, the opening of the trachea. It is the point of division between the upper airway and the lower airway. Entry way into the larynx is called the glottic opening, which is protected by a large leaflike structure called the epiglottis. This protective flap that sits above the glottic opening is designed to seal off the trachea during swallowing or in response to the gag reflex.

    The Larynx is framed and protected by cartilage. The thyroid cartilage protects the front of the larynx and forms the Adam's Apple. The cricoid ring, a complete circle of cartilage, forms the lower aspect of the larynx and provides structure to the proximal trachea.
  3. Airway Pathophysiology
    The lower airway begins below the larynx and is comprised of the trachea, bronchial passages, and the alveoli. The Trachea is a tube protected by 16 rings of cartilage, which provide structure and protect the trachea from collapsing. The top ring is the cricoid ring, which extends fully 360 degrees around. The other rings, the cartilage extends only about three-fourths of the way around and is connected posteriorly by smooth muscle. The trachea branches at the carina and forms two mainstem bronchi, which further subdivide to form smaller and smaller air passages called bronchioles. All the air passages are supported by cartilage and are lined with smooth muscle, which allows the bronchioles to change their internal diameter in response to specific stimulation. The bronchioles end at the alveoli.
  4. Airway Pathophysiology
    Alveoli are tiny sacs that occur in grapelike bunches at the end of the airway. They are surrounded by pulmonary capillaries and it is through their thin membranes that oxygen and carbon dioxide are diffused.
  5. Airway Pathophysiology
    The patent airway requires control of the muscles that form the airway, which is referred to as intact muscle tone. Conditions like altered mental status and neurologic disorders can result in a loss of this muscle tone and lead to collapse of the airway.

    Bronchoconstriction - The constriction of smooth muscle that lines the bronchial passages that result in a decreased internal diameter of the airway and increased resistance to air flow.
  6. Airway Adjuncts
    The most common impediment to an open airway is a lack of airway muscle tone. When a patient becomes unconscious, the muscles relax. The tongue and tissue of the larynx will slide back into the pharynx and obstruct the airway. Sometimes even when the head-tilt, chin-lift or jaw thrust is maintained, soft tissues and the tongue may continue to partially obstruct the airway.

    The two most common airways adjuncts, are the oropharyngeal airway (OPA), and the nasopharyngeal airway (NPA)
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Airway Management .txt
Airway Management