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Can’t Intubate Can’t Oxygenate

critical language designed to elevate your airway practice

If intubation attempt(s) fail, then attempts to maintain or restore oxygenation by face mask ventilation or supraglottic airway may be attempted. If oxygenation with these devices fails then it becomes a “can’t intubate & can’t oxygenate (CICO) scenario. This should be the trigger that initiates a rapid transition to a surgical airway (FONA). This is explained in more detail on the Vortex Approach website and the excerpt below.

“There are only three upper airway ‘lifelines’ (non-surgical techniques) by which alveolar oxygen delivery can be established and confirmed: face mask, supraglottic airway and endotracheal tube. If a ‘best effort‘ at each of these three lifelines is unsuccessful then a can’t intubate, can’t oxygenate situation (CICO) situation exists and eFONA (emergency front-of-neck access) must be initiated.”

The Vortex Approach

The Critical Language Project is a part of the Protected Airway Collaborative

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