In this article, we’ve listed out some of our premium Airway Management Practice Questions for the TMC Exam. So if that’s what you’re looking for then you’re definitely in the right place.

Airway Management is one of the most important sections of the TMC Exam. That is why we put so much emphasis on that topic here on this website, in our products, and on our YouTube channel as well.

And that is also why we’re providing these TMC Practice Questions for you — because practicing with real-life practice questions is one of the most effective strategies for preparing for the exam.

We didn’t include the correct answers, however. That way, you can quiz yourself and really test your knowledge to see where you stand. But, if you need the correct answers and rationales, you can download them using the links below.

So if you’re ready, let’s go ahead and dive right in!

Below, we’ve provided 35 Airway Management Practice Questions to help you prepare for the TMC Exam. If you need the correct answers as well, you can download them now by Clicking Here.

Here are 35 TMC Practice Questions on the Topic of Airway Management:

1. A 61-year-old female was just intubated and is now receiving ventilatory support via an oral endotracheal tube. You recommended a chest radiograph in order to confirm proper placement of the tube. Where should the tip of the tube be positioned?
A. Not more than 2 cm above the carina
B. At the same level as the carina
C. Level with the fifth cervical vertebra
D. Between the 2nd and 4th thoracic vertebra

2. You are called to the emergency room to assist with a rapid sequence intubation. Before the attempt, the injection of air into the pilot line fails to inflate the cuff. What should you do at this time?
A. Inspect the pilot line for patency
B. Replace the endotracheal tube
C. Check the cuff for leaks
D. Check the valve on the pilot line

3. You are needed in the NICU to help with the intubation of an infant. While gathering supplies, which of the following laryngoscope blades would you select?
A. Miller
B. Macintosh
C. Guedel
D. Berman

4. What purpose does the pilot balloon of an endotracheal or tracheostomy tube serve during intubation and airway management?
A. To minimize mucosal trauma during insertion
B. To protect the airway against aspiration
C. To monitor cuff integrity and pressure
D. To help with proper tube positioning

5. What is the most common complication associated with endotracheal tube extubation?
A. Tracheomalacia
B. Laryngospasm
C. Bradycardia
D. Aspiration

6. If the Respiratory Therapist were to significantly overinflate the endotracheal tube cuff, which of the following would likely occur?
A. Air leakage
B. Laryngospasm
C. Silent aspiration
D. Mucosal ischemia

7. The physician requests the insertion of a nasopharyngeal airway. This type of airway is useful in supporting which of the following?
A. Mechanical ventilation
B. Frequent suctioning
C. Incentive spirometry
D. Aerosol drug therapy

8. A 50-year-old man is intubated and receiving mechanical ventilation with a size 8.0 mm endotracheal tube that is secured in place. The patient’s cuff pressure is measured at 36 cm H2O. What would you recommend in this situation?
A. Withdraw the tube 1-2 cm and reassess the patient’s breath sounds
B. Recommend reintubation with a smaller endotracheal tube
C. Lower the cuff pressure to < 30 cm H2O and assess for leaks
D. Recommend ventilation via a tracheostomy instead

9. A chest X-ray was ordered to confirm that the endotracheal tube is positioned in the correct place. This can be done by determining that its tip of the tube is located where?
A. Even with the carina
B. Level with the 5th cervical vertebra
C. At the sixth intercostal space
D. 1–2 inches above the carina

10. Which of the following is the preferred procedure for establishing a patent tracheal airway in an emergency situation?
A. Orotracheal intubation
B. Nasotracheal intubation
C. Tracheostomy procedure
D. Cricothyrotomy

11. The doctor requests the insertion of a nasopharyngeal airway on a female patient. Which of the following would you do in order to estimate the appropriate length of the airway?
A. Measure the distance from the earlobe to the tip of the nose
B. Use the estimation formula of length (cm) = 12 + (age/2)
C. Subtract twice the diameter of the tube from its length
D. Measure the distance from the earlobe to the ‘Adam’s Apple’

12. A 57-year-old male patient is being ventilated with a bag-valve resuscitator through an LMA. While providing manual breaths, you notice a significant air leak. Which of the following should be your first approach to eliminate the leak?
A. Add more air to the LMA cuff
B. Decrease the cuff pressure
C. Pull the tube out 2–3 cm
D. Bag more slowly to reduce the peak pressure

13. A patient arrives in the emergency department intubated with a King LT airway. After being admitted, you are asked to exchange the patient’s current airway with an endotracheal tube. In order to make the switch, you would recommend which of the following?
A. Insert the ET tube under the King LT
B. Remove the King LT and temporarily apply NIPPV
C. Use an airway exchange catheter
D. Insert the ET tube on top of the King LT

14. A 21-year-old male patient arrives to the ER with cervical collar after a motor vehicle accident. In order to quickly secure the airway and provide ventilation, which of the following would you recommend?
A. Perform a blind nasotracheal intubation
B. Orally intubate with manual in-line stabilization
C. Insert a nasopharyngeal airway
D. Apply the head-tilt, chin-lift maneuver

15. An unconscious patient with apnea has just arrived to the ER. The physician states that the patient is at risk of aspirating. Which of the following would you recommend for securing this patient’s airway?
A. Performing a percutaneous tracheotomy
B. Inserting a laryngeal mask airway
C. Intubating via the nasal route instead
D. Inserting an esophageal-tracheal combitube

Do you need to correct answers to the practice questions in this post? If so, you can download them by clicking the button below.

Each question comes with the correct answer and a detailed rationale that explains exactly why that answer is correct.

16. In which of the following conditions would you most likely have a difficult time establishing a patent airway?
B. Morbid obesity
C. Pleural effusion
D. Ventilator-associated pneumonia

17. What is the purpose of using a cuffed artificial airway when providing long-term positive pressure ventilation?
A. To facilitate the removal of secretions
B. To decrease the airway resistance
C. To prevent gas leaks and aspiration
D. To decrease the work of breathing

18. Which of the following must you do in order to allow a patient with a tracheostomy button to talk or cough effectively?
A. Attach a one-way inspiratory valve
B. Completely deflate the button cuff
C. Use spacers to position the button
D. Attach a standard 15-mm connector

19. In which of the following cases would you recommend against the insertion of a supraglottic airway?
A. For a patient that needs emergency ventilation
B. For a patient with a suspected cervical spine injury
C. For a patient whom ET intubation is difficult
D. For a patient with a known esophageal disease

20. An oropharyngeal airway has been inserted in a 39-year-old male patient. Within minutes after insertion, the patient begins to gag. What action should you take at this time?
A. Perform the head-tilt, chin-lift maneuver
B. Insert a bite block
C. Remove the airway
D. Replace the current tube with a smaller airway

21. Which of the following patients should you avoid the insertion of an oropharyngeal airway?
A. A patient that has a foreign body obstruction
B. A patient that requires manual ventilation
C. A patient that is unconscious
D. A patient that is less than 12-years-old

22. You are called to assist the physician with changing a patient from an endotracheal tube to a tracheostomy. Which of the following is the primary indication for the insertion of a tracheostomy?
A. When a patient loses pharyngeal or laryngeal reflexes
B. When a patient has a long-term need for mechanical ventilation
C. When a patient is prone to a hemorrhage
D. When a patient has upper airway obstruction due to trauma

23. Immediately after intubation, a 64-year-old female patient shows asymmetrical chest movement while being ventilated with a bag-valve resuscitator. After auscultation, you note no breath sounds on the left. These findings are consistent with which of the following?
A. Pneumothorax
B. Atelectasis
C. Right mainstem intubation
D. Pleural effusion

24. Which of the following would be considered a contraindication for the insertion of a Laryngeal Mask Airway?
A. Conscious or semi-conscious patients
B. Patients with a risk of aspiration
C. Patients who are breathing spontaneously
D. Both A and B

25. Which of the following is the average depth of a proper oral endotracheal tube insertion in an adult patient?
A. 26 cm from the patient’s teeth
B. 22 inches from the patient’s lip
C. 22 cm from the patient’s lip
D. 32 cm from the patient’s teeth

26. What is the maximum time in seconds that can be devoted to an intubation attempt before you need to return the patient back to manual ventilation?
A. 30 seconds
B. 45 seconds
C. 60 seconds
D. 90 seconds

27. A 61-year-old male patient is intubated with a size 8 endotracheal tube and is receiving positive pressure ventilation in volume control, assist-control. Upon assessment, you notice a large air leak throughout inspiration with a cuff pressure measurement of 14 cm H2O. Which of the following actions should you take?
A. Reassess the cuff pressure during expiration
B. Inflate the ET tube cuff to between 20–30 cm H2O
C. Add an additional 10 mL of air to the ET tube cuff
D. Replace the endotracheal tube with a larger size

28. A conscious patient that requires frequent nasotracheal suctioning needs a nasopharyngeal airway to be inserted. On your first attempt, you are only able to pass the airway about 3 cm into the patient’s nostril. Which of the following actions should you take at this time?
A. Recommend nasotracheal intubation
B. Use a laryngeal mask airway instead
C. Switch to an oropharyngeal airway
D. Insert the airway in the other nostril

29. A patient was just orally intubated with an endotracheal tube. Which of the following should you INITIALLY perform to confirm that the tube is in the proper position?
A. Auscultate the chest and abdomen
B. Perform a STAT chest x-ray
C. Use capnography to verify exhaled CO2
D. Observe chest wall movement

30. Which of the following is true regarding the insertion of a laryngeal mask airway as compared to endotracheal intubation?
A. It must be removed in order to insert an endotracheal tube
B. It poses a greater risk of trauma than endotracheal intubation
C. It can be inserted blindly without any special equipment
D. It can completely prevent the aspiration of gastric contents

31. Immediately after intubation in the emergency room, the doctor requests for you to auscultate the patient in order to confirm proper tube placement. While listening, you hear gurgling over the epigastrium and no breath sounds. Which of the following is the most likely cause of this finding?
A. A right-sided tension pneumothorax
B. Intubation of the right mainstem bronchus
C. Intubation of the left mainstem bronchus
D. Intubation of the patient’s esophagus

32. A 49-year-old male is intubated and receiving mechanical ventilation with a size 7.5 endotracheal tube. Over the last hour, the patient has been compressing the tube between his teeth. Which of the following would you recommend?
A. The application of a Brigg’s adapter
B. The use of a bite block
C. The administration of a neuromuscular blocking agent
D. The administration of a strong narcotic analgesic

33. A 63-year-old female patient is orally intubated with an size 7 endotracheal tube and is receiving mechanical ventilation. While attempting to suction the patient with a size 12 Fr catheter, you cannot pass the catheter beyond the tip of the ET tube. Which of the following is the most likely cause of this problem?
A. There is a kink in the tube
B. The tube is in right main bronchus
C. The suction catheter too short
D. The suction catheter size is too large

34. A 58-year-old female patient was recently intubated. Auscultation reveals that she has breath sounds over the left side of her chest. You also noted the fact that her SpO2 has dropped from 96% to 81% and her peak inspiratory pressure on the ventilator has increased from 33 to 53 cm H2O. The tube length marking is 26 cm at the lip. What action should you take at this time?
A. Recommend a stat chest X-ray
B. Increase the FiO2 and the flow rate
C. Withdraw the ET tube 2-3 cm and reassess
D. Administrator a bronchodilator

35. An adult patient is about to be intubated in the emergency department. How far should the endotracheal tube should be advanced into the trachea during the oral intubation procedure?
A. Until the cuff has passed the vocal cords by 3–4 inches
B. Until the cuff has passed the vocal cords by 3–4 centimeters
C. Until the proximal end of the tube is at the teeth
D. Just far enough so that the tube cuff is no longer visible

Final Thoughts

So there you have it! I sincerely hope that these Airway Management TMC Practice Questions were helpful for you. I’m confident that if you go through these practice questions again and again, it will absolutely boost your knowledge to a whole new level — which, of course, can help you prepare for (and pass) the TMC Exam whenever that time comes. 

If you put in the hard work now by learning this information, your future self will thank you because you will see a lot of this stuff again when you take the TMC Exam. Not only that, you will also use this knowledge on a daily basis throughout your career as a Respiratory Therapist.

Thank you so much for reading! I want to wish you the best of luck and as always, breathe easy my friend.


The following are the sources that were used while doing research for this article:

  • Faarc, Kacmarek Robert PhD Rrt, et al. Egan’s Fundamentals of Respiratory Care. 12th ed., Mosby, 2020.
  • Chang, David. Clinical Application of Mechanical Ventilation. 4th ed., Cengage Learning, 2013.
  • Rrt, Cairo J. PhD. Pilbeam’s Mechanical Ventilation: Physiological and Clinical Applications. 7th ed., Mosby, 2019.
  • Faarc, Heuer Al PhD Mba Rrt Rpft. Wilkins’ Clinical Assessment in Respiratory Care. 8th ed., Mosby, 2017.

Get access to 20+ high-quality RRT cheat sheets and quizzes for FREE.

Medical Disclaimer: The information provided by Respiratory Therapy Zone is for educational and informational purposes only. It should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Please consult with a physician with any questions that you may have regarding a medical condition.