Date of Award

Spring 4-12-2024

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)




Dr. Regina Prusinski

First Committee Member

Dr. Brian Garrett

Second Committee Member

Dr. Joy Shoemaker

Third Committee Member

Dr. Amy Bishop


Difficult Airway, Assessment, Emergency, Trauma, Ultrasound, POCUS

Subject Categories

Medicine and Health Sciences


Effective airway management is critical for nurse anesthetists, encompassing tasks such as anesthesia administration, airway establishment, and patient safety, particularly in challenging cases where airway difficulties may arise. The subjectivity in airway assessments poses challenges for clinicians when accurately predicting difficult cases. Point-of-care ultrasound (POCUS) has emerged as a valuable tool for quantifying airway parameters, providing objective data to guide decision-making. This project aims to establish evidence-based guidelines for managing the airway in unconscious trauma patients requiring intubation using POCUS. By quantifying parameters such as PEP/E-VC ratios, hyomental distance, thyrohyoid membrane thickness, and anterior neck thickness, healthcare providers can make more informed decisions and potentially reduce malpractice settlements associated with anesthesia-related complications. The project follows the John Hopkins Evidence-Based Practice (JHEBP) Model, a systematic approach for incorporating research findings into patient care. Data collection will involve retrospective chart analysis to assess compliance in documenting airway parameters and using POCUS in difficult cases. The project will monitor CL grade III or IV classifications in patient records to identify trends and evaluate the application of POCUS in managing difficult airways. The timeline spans seven months, including planning, education, training, and data analysis. The ER staff will use a portable handheld ultrasound device, Vscan Air, to efficiently perform scans on all ER patients. This project seeks to enhance airway management in unconscious trauma patients, improve clinical outcomes, and reduce the risk of adverse events, ultimately benefiting anesthesia and emergency room providers and patients.

Acknowledgement 2


Licensing Permission

Copyright, all rights reserved. Fair Use



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