American Hospital Association
Health Research & Educational Trust

Airway Safety


Approximately 25,000 potentially life-threatening errors occur daily in hospital intensive care units (ICUs), and up to 10 percent of these adverse events involve unintended incidents in airway management; more than half of these errors have been deemed preventable (Needham, et al., 2004). Airway safety events refers to complications related to high-risk patients for airway compromise, airway placement and airway maintenance. Airway management processes must be in place for critically ill patients in the ICU who are at risk for difficult intubations (Leeuwenburg, 2015). Learn more about human factors and airway safety from Elaine's story.


20 percent reduction in Adverse Airway Safety Events by 2019.

Partnership for Patients (PfP) Goal