Airway Management of the Trauma Victim
The potential for cervical spine injury makes airway management more complex in the trauma patient. A cervical spine injury should be suspected in all injury mechanisms involving blunt trauma. Patients with injury above the clavicles are at increased risk, and this is increased 4-fold (9) if there is a clinically significant head injury (GCS < 9). Cervical spine injury is often occult, and secondary injury to the spinal cord must be avoided. Immobilization of the cervical spine must be instituted until a complete clinical and radiological evaluation has excluded injury.