John D. Davies, the author of Chapter 19: Airway Management in Respiratory Care: Principles and Practice, Second Edition, just published a great article in the June issue of RESPIRATORY CARE.
Taken from the abstract:
Manual ventilation is a basic skill that involves airway assessment, maneuvers to open the airway, and application of simple and complex airway support devices and effective positive-pressure ventilation using a bag and mask. An important part of manual ventilation is recognizing its success and when it is difficult or impossible and a higher level of support is necessary to sustain life. Careful airway assessment will help clinicians identify what and when the next step needs to be taken. Often simple airway maneuvers such as the head tilt/chin lift and jaw thrust can achieve a patent airway. Appropriate use of airway adjuncts can further aid the clinician in situations in which airway maneuvers may not be sufficient. Bag-mask ventilation (BMV) plays a vital role in effective manual ventilation, improving both oxygenation and ventilation as well as buying time while preparations are made for endotracheal intubation. There are, however, situations in which BMV may be difficult or impossible. Anticipation and early recognition of these situations allows clinicians to quickly make adjustments to the method of BMV or to employ a more advanced intervention to avoid delays in establishing adequate oxygenation and ventilation.