Inhalation Injury and Endotracheal Intubation

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Patients with inhalation injury frequently require mechanical ventilation. Multiple different methods of establishing and maintaining the airway, both non-surgical (endotracheal intubation) and surgical (tracheostomy), are employed. The debate over the “best” method of airway access in the patient with inhalation injury has been raging for decades. The purpose of this section of the compendium is to discuss commonly used airway access methods, including their benefits and risks, and to determine what studies are needed to help clarify which type of airway is the safest and most effective after smoke inhalation injury.

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