Airway Assessment


4.6 out of 5 (97 Reviews)



Pharmacology Credits


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Start Date

1 Sep 2023

Last Review Date

1 Sep 2023

Expiration Date

31 Aug 2026

Estimated Time To Finish

60 Minutes

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Activity Description

A thorough but brief airway assessment is essential for patients requiring advanced airway management. Indications for airway management are a failure to oxygenate, ventilate, or maintain a patent airway. The modality of airway management primarily depends on the cause and severity of the patient's condition but is also subject to environmental factors and clinician skills. A patient needing airway management requires assessment for a difficult airway. A difficult airway may prohibit mask ventilation or increase the risk of a failed intubation attempt. Obtaining an airway-specific history from the patient aids in determining if there has been a previous airway problem. A systematic airway assessment can be accomplished via several simple, quick methods. This activity describes the importance of airway assessment in patients at increased risk for requiring advanced airway management and several methods used in airway assessment applicable in the prehospital or hospital setting. The activity also highlights the interprofessional team's role in managing patients in respiratory distress or failure.

Target Audience

This activity has been designed to meet the educational needs of physicians, physician associates, nurses, pharmacists, and nurse practitioners.

Learning Objectives

At the conclusion of this activity, the learner will be better able to:

  • Delineate the clinically relevant anatomical structures examined during an airway assessment.
  • Correlate findings obtained during an airway-specific history and physical examination with the risk of a difficult airway.
  • Efficiently apply the methods of airway assessment at the bedside, incorporating technical advancements as clinically indicated.
  • Collaborate with interprofessional team members to coordinate care and improve outcomes for patients affected by airway compromise.


StatPearls, LLC requires everyone who influences the content of an educational activity to disclose relevant financial relationships with ineligible companies that have occurred within the past 24 months. Ineligible companies are organizations whose primary business is producing, marketing, selling, re-selling, or distributing healthcare products used by or on patients. All relevant conflict(s) of interest have been mitigated. Hover over contributor names for financial disclosures. Others involved in planning this educational activity have no relevant financial relationships to disclose.

Commercial Support: This activity has received NO commercial support.

Continuing Education Accreditation Information

In support of improving patient care, StatPearls, LLC is jointly accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME), the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE), and the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) to provide continuing education for the healthcare team.


Nurse Practitioners: StatPearls designates this activity for 1.00 ANCC contact hour(s), which includes 0 hour(s) of pharmacology. NPs should only claim credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

Please consult your professional licensing board for information on the applicability and acceptance of continuing education credit for this activity.

Method of Participation and Credit

  1. Register for the activity.    
  2. Review the target audience, learning objectives, and disclosure information.
  3. Study the educational content of the enduring material.
  4. Choose the best answer to each activity test question. To receive credit and a certificate, you must pass the test questions with a minimum score of 100%.
  5. Complete the post-activity assessment survey.

If you have concerns regarding the CE/CME system, please contact


This educational activity was planned and produced in accordance with the ACCME Standards for Integrity and Independence in Accredited Continuing Education. Faculty may discuss investigational products or off-label uses of products regulated by the FDA. Readers should verify all information before employing any therapies described in this educational activity.

The information provided for this activity is for continuing education purposes only and is not meant to substitute for the independent medical/clinical judgment of a healthcare provider relative to diagnostic and treatment options of a specific patient’s medical condition. The information presented does not necessarily reflect the views of StatPearls or any commercial supporters of educational activities on StatPearls expressly disclaims responsibility for any adverse consequences resulting directly or indirectly from information in the course, for undetected error, or through a participant's misunderstanding of the content.

Unapproved Uses of Drugs/Devices: In accordance with FDA requirements, the audience is advised that information presented in this continuing education activity may contain references to unlabeled or unapproved uses of drugs or devices. Please refer to the FDA-approved package insert for each drug/device for full prescribing/utilization information.

Cancellation Policy: Please see the cancellation policy. StatPearls, LLC reserves the right to cancel any course due to unforeseen circumstances.




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