Intensive Care Med. 2022 Oct;48(10):1287-1298. doi: 10.1007/s00134-022-06849-0. Epub 2022 Aug 20.
Tracheal intubation in the critically ill is associated with serious complications, mainly cardiovascular collapse and severe hypoxemia. In this narrative review, we present an update of interventions aiming to decrease these complications. MACOCHA is a simple score that helps to identify patients at risk of difficult intubation in the intensive care unit (ICU). Preoxygenation combining the use of inspiratory support and positive end-expiratory pressure should remain the standard method for preoxygenation of hypoxemic patients. Apneic oxygenation using high-flow nasal oxygen may be supplemented, to prevent further hypoxemia during tracheal intubation. Face mask ventilation after rapid sequence induction may also be used to prevent hypoxemia, in selected patients without high-risk of aspiration. Hemodynamic optimization and management are essential before, during and after the intubation procedure. All these elements can be integrated in a bundle. An airway management algorithm should be adopted in each ICU and adapted to the needs, situation and expertise of each operator. Videolaryngoscopes should be used by experienced operators.