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First Pass Success

critical language designed to elevate your airway practice


If you spend any time talking to airway experts, you’ll hear the term ‘first pass success” (FPS) thrown around a lot. It may initially seem that FPS is an ego-driven, competitive term used to prove how good you are at intubation, but it shouldn’t be taken that way. FPS is an important quality, safety, and research design metric because a failure to intubate on the first attempt increases adverse patient events. The more attempts, the worse things get.

Therefore, FPS is an important concept and a clinical goal to strive for. Achieving a high FPS rate depends on many factors, including understanding the clinical environment, the available tools, your training, experience, preparation, planning, and teamwork.

– Jonathan St George MD


The Importance of First Pass Success When Performing Orotracheal Intubation in the Emergency Department John C. Sakles, MD, Stephen Chiu, MD, Jarrod Mosier, MD, Corrine Walker, MD, and  Uwe Stolz, PhD, MPH

Acad Emerg Med. 2013 Jan; 20(1): 71–78.  doi: 10.1111/acem.12055

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

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