First aid using SMART Emergency Medicine to check the Airway

How to Check the Airway: SMART Emergency Medicine Series

I came up with smart emergency medicine which stands for scene safe, massive bleeding, airway, reassess, and then transport. Smart is a simple, effective system that you can use to treat any medical situation before medical personnel arrives or the person can be brought to a hospital. If you haven’t read the previous post on finding and stopping massive bleeding, make sure you watch that first before continuing on to this video, because if you don’t follow the system, well, it’s not really a system. Now, it is time to know how to check the airway. 

*Before we get started, I have a medical disclaimer. Although I am a doctor, I am not a medical doctor. So nothing I share with you here should be construed as medical advice. All right legal disclaimers out of the way 

How to Check The Airway

After you’ve stopped any massive bleeding, the next thing you want to do is to know how to check the airway. The way you’re going to do this is with the head tilt, and chin lift method. 

Chris checking if the patient's airway is open

When you’re checking the airway, you want to look, listen and feel look for rising and falls in the chest. Listen for the sound of any breathing and feel for the breath on your cheek. 

You then need to expose the chest to make sure there are no holes in the chest. This includes the patient’s back. The chest and back are all part of the airway system and you want to always make sure there are no extra holes in that system.

Any holes that are below the jawline or above the belly button need to be covered with an occlusive dressing. I personally keep Halo Seals with me at all times. They work great, but you can really use anything at all that is going to stop air from going in or out. 

Practice Checking the Airway

Make sure you practice the lessons you just learned, grab a friend or family member, and practice opening the airway. Look, listen, and feel for the breath. Exposing the chest, applying occlusive dressings, and coming up with different ways to improvise those dressings.

If you just read this post, that is not going to save anybody’s life. It is important to know how to check the airway of a patient. All right, in the next post, I’m going to be covering the R in smart medicine and that is to reassess. Please comment on and share this post with anybody and everybody you care about. Alright, that’s it, folks, until next time, keep paving your path to perfection.

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