Prehospital Airway Management Evidence Based Guideline


In 2012 the National EMS Advisory Council (NEMSAC) recommended that the U.S.
Department of Transportation’s Office of Emergency Medical Services (OEMS) lead the effort
in forming relationships with stakeholder organizations and academic journals in order to hasten
the process of publishing evidence-based guidelines (EBGs).

To that end, through a Cooperative Agreement with the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) Office of Emergency Medical Services, and in partnership with the American College of Emergency Physicians® (ACEP), the National EMS Quality Alliance (NEMSQA), and the National Registry of EMTs® (NREMT), NASEMSO is leading a project to develop an EBG for prehospital airway management.

Project Goals

This project will focus on both the development of an EBG and model EMS treatment protocol for the management of a patient’s airway by EMS clinicians in the prehospital setting. The EBG
will include a manuscript describing the EBG and the methodology used to develop it. Creation of educational materials based on the EBG and model protocol will assist EMS medical directors
and EMS clinicians in improving patient care. The project will also provide performance measures for use with the EBG which will be fully tested and available for rapid implementation
in EMS systems nationwide. The focused aim of this project is to improve emergency medical care in the U.S. by developing an EBG and model protocol for airway management for use by EMS medical directors and clinicians and disseminating the guideline, educational materials, and the performance measures to the EMS community.

The focused activities of the project are:

  • Assemble a multidisciplinary Technical Expert Panel (TEP) to develop the guideline and related deliverables,
  • Plan and execute two orientation/training sessions for the TEP to assure understanding of GRADE process,
  • Convene monthly virtual meetings of the TEP,
  • Leverage the experience of the experts retained through the subcontracts with the EBG GRADE methodologist, the NREMT Director of Research and Education Specialist to
    influence the TEP decision making process,
  • Develop the evidence based guideline for airway management in the prehospital setting
    utilizing the GRADE process,
  • Write the manuscript for submission to a peer reviewed scientific journal describing the EBG and its development,
  • Develop the model protocol for airway management based on the EBG,
  • Create corresponding educational material for disseminating the airway management EBG and protocol to EMS clinicians and EMS medical directors,
  • Develop EMS performance measures for airway management which can be used to determine adherence to and efficacy of the EBG, and
  • Disseminate the evidence based guideline and related project deliverables to the EMS community.

Model EMS Clinical Guideline: Prehospital Airway Management

As part of the larger evidence-based guideline project, the Technical Expert Panel updated and amended the airway management Model EMS Clinical Guideline of the National Model EMS Clinical Guidelines.

In keeping with the intent of the National Model EMS Clinical Guidelines, this supplementary document is made available to the entire EMS community for review and inclusion with local and state system protocols.

Model Clinical Guideline: Prehospital Airway Management

For More Information

Andy Gienapp

Deputy Executive Director