RTs work as part of a team of physicians, nurses, and other healthcare professionals to provide emergency care such as airway management and artificial respiration. RTs are directly responsible for selecting which airway is appropriate for any given clinical situation as well as proper placement of these airways. An artificial airway is required when the patient’s natural airway can no longer perform its proper functions. The American Association for Respiratory Care (AARC) Clinical Practice guidelines outlines general conditions requiring airway management as the following: 1. Anatomical airway compromise 2. Respiratory failure 3. Airway protection Specific guidelines include: 1. Apnea 2. Coma 3. Cardiopulmonary arrest and unstable arrhythmias 4. Severe bronchospasm Prompt Assessing the need for placement of an artificial airway is just as important as choosing the correct airway. Identify the characteristics of the following artificial airways: • Oropharyngeal • Nasopharyngeal • Endotracheal tubes • Tracheostomy tubes • Laryngeal Mask Airway (LMA) Identify the medical indications specific to each of the above listed airways.