Airway management provides medical techniques and procedures performed with or without equipment to prevent and relieve airway obstruction. The objective is an open pathway for gas exchange between a patient’s lungs and the atmosphere. The tongue, foreign objects, the tissues of the airway itself, and bodily fluids such as blood and gastric contents can cause airway obstruction. Airway management is usually divided into two categories: basic and advanced.
Basic techniques are non-invasive and do not need special airway management equipment or advanced training. These include head and neck maneuvers to improve ventilation (head tilt, chin lift, and jaw thrust), abdominal thrusts, and back blows. Advanced techniques need advanced medical training and special equipment. They are divided into supraglottic techniques (oropharyngeal and nasopharyngeal airways), infraglottic techniques (tracheal intubation), and surgical methods (such as cricothyrotomy, and tracheotomy).