3-3-2 Rule


4.6 out of 5 (158 Reviews)



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Expiration Date

28 Feb 2026

Last Reviewed

1 Mar 2023

Estimated Time To Finish

60 Minutes

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Activity Description

The airway is one of the most critical elements of patient safety, and difficult intubations commonly cause morbidity and mortality. To decrease morbidity and mortality associated with intubation, interprofessional team members must properly evaluate risks and recognize which patients are most likely to be difficult to intubate. This will allow the interprofessional team to prepare accordingly, thereby reducing the risk of complications and improving patient outcomes. This activity reviews the 3-3-2 rule, an assessment tool used to predict difficult intubations based on characteristics of difficult airways, and highlights the role of the interprofessional team in evaluating patients who may need intubation.

Target Audience

This activity has been designed to meet the educational needs of physicians.

Learning Objectives

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

  • Summarize the 3-2-2 rule.
  • Identify components of the Mallampati scoring.
  • Review the importance of evaluating for airway obstruction.
  • Explain the 3-3-2 rule to the interprofessional team and employ a well-coordinated, team approach to assisting in the preparation and intubation of patients.


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COMMERCIAL SUPPORT: This activity has received NO commercial support.

Continuing Education Accreditation Information

This activity has been planned and implemented in accordance with the accreditation requirements and policies of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) through the joint providership of the Quillen College of Medicine, East Tennessee State University, and StatPearls, LLC. The Quillen College of Medicine, East Tennessee State University is accredited by the ACCME to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

Quillen College of Medicine, East Tennessee State University designates this activity for a maximum of 1.00 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditsTM. Physicians should only claim credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

This activity is reported to the following Maintenance of Certification (MOC) boards:
American Board of Anesthesiology
  • Ambulatory/Outpatient
  • General Operative Anesthesia
  • Trauma
American Board of Internal Medicine
  • Critical Care Medicine
American Board of Otolaryngology
  • General Otolaryngology
American Board of Pediatrics
  • Pediatric Critical Care Medicine
American Board of Surgery
  • General Surgery

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  4. Choose the best answer to each activity test question. To receive credit, you must pass the test questions with a minimum score of 100%.
  5. Complete the post-activity assessment.
  6. Obtain a certificate.

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    Deborah Z. on 1/6/2021

    Alvar D. on 1/27/2021

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    Darcey A. on 2/13/2021

    very good review

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    Edward C. on 5/31/2021

    Excellent topic!

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    Rene G. on 12/28/2021

    Good additions to the traditional airway exam. Thanks. One question is weird, where an anesthetist tries to intubate an adult female using 100 mcg of fentanyl. I know no anesthetist who would attempt intubation with such an inadequate dose of medication. Seems odd.

    Androcles L. on 12/28/2021

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    SREEDEVI Y. on 1/1/2022

    Debra F. on 1/3/2022

    I found STATPEARLS a good resource till now (I have read only one subtopic by now after joining) for my goals of passing USMLE with highest percentile and EPIC with high credits.

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    Brian L. on 9/16/2022

    illustrations and review of the upper lip bite test which Cochrane analysis indicates is likely the most useful should be included

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    on 12/6/2022

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    good value

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