Aim: The aim is to discuss airway management with the use of instruments to increase the efficiency of patient ventilation which, according to the amendment of the Act on State Emergency Medical Services (PRM), can be applied by paramedics serving in the State Fire Service and the Volunteer Fire Service.

Introduction: The amendment to the Act on PRM of 25 September 2015, and the Regulation of the Minister of Health of 20 April 2016 on medical treatment and health services other than medical rescue activities which can be provided by a paramedic considerably extend the competences of people working in the PRM system as well as in units supporting the system (the State Fire Service, the Police, and the Tatra Mountains, Mountains and Water Volunteer Rescue Service, and also other organisations and associations which perform rescue operations as part of their statutory activities). Before the coming into force of the amendment to the Act, rescuers and paramedics on duty in units of the State Fire Service performed procedures in accordance with the framework programme of the course within qualified first aid (QFA). After the amendment of the Act [1] paramedics are no longer limited only to the QFA, and may perform medical rescue activities based on their acquired knowledge and skills. The authors discuss airway management techniques with the use of instruments, which pursuant to the current version of the Act can be used by paramedics, starting from the simplest – oropharyngeal tubes (before the amendment of the Act available to paramedics operating on the basis of QFA), ending with those which were inaccessible before the change in regulations (within State Fire Service operations), namely tracheal intubation.

Conclusions: Using the proper upper airway management techniques adjusted to the patient’s condition, especially with the use of instruments, can significantly improve the quality of ventilation. The normal flow of air / oxygen through airways is one of the elements contributing to the optimal functioning of all organs and systems.

Relevance in practice: In this article, the authors focus on the advanced techniques facilitating airway management, which should replace the well-known and often discussed techniques without the use of instruments

Keywords: airway obstruction, airway management, tracheal intubation, supraglottic techniques, State Emergency Medical Services, State Fire Service

Type of article: review article