Airway Opening: Managing your enemy, It's the simple stuff that saves lives
In general we've always taught that its the simple stuff that saves lives. A does not equate to intubation. It stands for open the Airway, Apply oxygen and Ask for help, things you should do at the bedside with materials that are available in every clinical setting. Anatomically the tongue is your enemy when it comes to airway management (and the epiglottis is your friend). This classic AIME fluroscopy video was performed using a clinical cadaver. Three airway opening moves are performed- 1. head extension, 2. chin lift and 3. a jaw thrust. The messaging should be clear, the jaw thrust opens the airway beautifully while minimally affecting mouth opening or opposing the tongue against the palate (which happens with a chin lift).