Description: This multiauthored book describes airway management strategies for patients where mechanical control of the airway is deemed difficult.
Purpose: It provides background in airway techniques to give practitioners alternative therapies for airway control.
Audience: Practitioners in emergency medicine, prehospital care, anesthesiology, surgery, pulmonology, and critical care medicine are an appropriate audience. The authors are from departments of anesthesiology in the U.S. and Canada, with many from the University of Chicago.
Features: After reviewing difficult airway algorithms from international societies, the book describes the clinical settings where intubation may be difficult. The majority of chapters describe techniques to facilitate airway control, including optimization of direct laryngoscopy, fiberoptic laryngoscopy, video laryngoscopy, and bronchoscopy. New technologies, including the supraglottic airway, the lightwand and optical stylets, are discussed. Alternative mechanical intubation techniques, including retrograde intubation, transtracheal jet intubation, and surgical airway access are described in the concluding chapters. Chapters are clearly written with an ample reference list incorporating primary literature. Photographs are essential in a work like this, and their quality is good to excellent in most chapters. The book makes good use of shading and textboxes. The table of contents presents not only chapter titles and authors, but also lists topics, while the subject index of approximately 10 pages provides effective access to content.
Assessment: This is an excellent introduction to consensus-based protocols for airway management that integrates available technologies to manage this problem. I hope that illustration quality is improved in subsequent editions. This is a worthy contribution for the material it collects.