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      Awake supraglottic airway guided flexible bronchoscopic intubation in patients with anticipated difficult airways: a case series and narrative review

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          Awake intubation is indicated in difficult airways if attempts at securing the airway after induction of general anesthesia may lead to harm due to potential difficulties or failure in those attempts. Conventional awake flexible bronchoscopic intubation is performed via the nasal, or less commonly, oral route. Awake oral flexible bronchoscopic intubation (FBI) via a supraglottic airway device (SAD) is a less common technique; we refer to this as ‘supraglottic airway guided’ FBI (SAGFBI). We describe ten cases with anticipated difficult airways in which awake SAGFBI was performed. After sedation and adequate airway topicalization, an Ambu Auragain TM SAD was inserted. A flexible bronchoscope, preloaded with a tracheal tube, was then inserted through the SAD. Finally, the tracheal tube was railroaded over the bronchoscope, through the SAD and into the trachea. The bronchoscope and the SAD were carefully removed, whilst keeping the tracheal tube in-situ. The technique was successful and well tolerated by all patients, and associated complications were rare. It also offered the advantages of performing an ‘awake test insertion’ of the SAD, an ‘awake look’ at the periglottic region, and an ‘awake test ventilation.’ In certain patients, awake SAGFBI offers advantages over conventional awake FBI or awake videolaryngoscopy. More research is required to evaluate its success and failure rates, and identify associated complications. Its place in difficult airway algorithms may then be further established.

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          Major complications of airway management in the UK: results of the Fourth National Audit Project of the Royal College of Anaesthetists and the Difficult Airway Society. Part 1: anaesthesia.

          This project was devised to estimate the incidence of major complications of airway management during anaesthesia in the UK and to study these events. Reports of major airway management complications during anaesthesia (death, brain damage, emergency surgical airway, unanticipated intensive care unit admission) were collected from all National Health Service hospitals for 1 yr. An expert panel assessed inclusion criteria, outcome, and airway management. A matched concurrent census estimated a denominator of 2.9 million general anaesthetics annually. Of 184 reports meeting inclusion criteria, 133 related to general anaesthesia: 46 events per million general anaesthetics [95% confidence interval (CI) 38-54] or one per 22,000 (95% CI 1 per 26-18,000). Anaesthesia events led to 16 deaths and three episodes of persistent brain damage: a mortality rate of 5.6 per million general anaesthetics (95% CI 2.8-8.3): one per 180,000 (95% CI 1 per 352-120,000). These estimates assume that all such cases were captured. Rates of death and brain damage for different airway devices (facemask, supraglottic airway, tracheal tube) varied little. Airway management was considered good in 19% of assessable anaesthesia cases. Elements of care were judged poor in three-quarters: in only three deaths was airway management considered exclusively good. Although these data suggest the incidence of death and brain damage from airway management during general anaesthesia is low, statistical analysis of the distribution of reports suggests as few as 25% of relevant incidents may have been reported. It therefore provides an indication of the lower limit for incidence of such complications. The review of airway management indicates that in a majority of cases, there is 'room for improvement'.
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            Prediction and outcomes of impossible mask ventilation: a review of 50,000 anesthetics.

            There are no existing data regarding risk factors for impossible mask ventilation and limited data regarding its incidence. The authors sought to determine the incidence, predictors, and outcomes associated with impossible mask ventilation. The authors performed an observational study over a 4-yr period. For each adult patient undergoing a general anesthetic, preoperative patient characteristics, detailed airway physical exam, and airway outcome data were collected. The primary outcome was impossible mask ventilation defined as the inability to exchange air during bag-mask ventilation attempts, despite multiple providers, airway adjuvants, or neuromuscular blockade. Secondary outcomes included the final, definitive airway management technique and direct laryngoscopy view. The incidence of impossible mask ventilation was calculated. Independent (P < 0.05) predictors of impossible mask ventilation were identified by performing a logistic regression full model fit. Over a 4-yr period from 2004 to 2008, 53,041 attempts at mask ventilation were recorded. A total of 77 cases of impossible mask ventilation (0.15%) were observed. Neck radiation changes, male sex, sleep apnea, Mallampati III or IV, and presence of beard were identified as independent predictors. The receiver-operating-characteristic area under the curve for this model was 0.80 +/- 0.03. Nineteen impossible mask ventilation patients (25%) also demonstrated difficult intubation, with 15 being intubated successfully. Twelve patients required an alternative intubation technique, including two surgical airways and two patients who were awakened and underwent successful fiberoptic intubation. Impossible mask ventilation is an infrequent airway event that is associated with difficult intubation. Neck radiation changes represent the most significant clinical predictor of impossible mask ventilation in the patient dataset.
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              Routine clinical practice effectiveness of the Glidescope in difficult airway management: an analysis of 2,004 Glidescope intubations, complications, and failures from two institutions.

              The Glidescope video laryngoscope has been shown to be a useful tool to improve laryngeal view. However, its role in the daily routine of airway management remains poorly characterized. This investigation evaluated the use of the Glidescope at two academic medical centers. Electronic records from 71,570 intubations were reviewed, and 2,004 cases were identified where the Glidescope was used for airway management. We analyzed the success rate of Glidescope intubation in various intubation scenarios. In addition, the incidence and character of complications associated with Glidescope use were recorded. Predictors of Glidescope intubation failure were determined using a logistic regression analysis. Overall success for Glidescope intubation was 97% (1,944 of 2,004). As a primary technique, success was 98% (1,712 of 1,755), whereas success in patients with predictors of difficult direct laryngoscopy was 96% (1,377 of 1,428). Success for Glidescope intubation after failed direct laryngoscopy was 94% (224 of 239). Complications were noticed in 1% (21 of 2,004) of patients and mostly involved minor soft tissue injuries, but major complications, such as dental, pharyngeal, tracheal, or laryngeal injury, occurred in 0.3% (6 of 2,004) of patients. The strongest predictor of Glidescope failure was altered neck anatomy with presence of a surgical scar, radiation changes, or mass. These data demonstrate a high success rate of Glidescope intubation in both primary airway management and rescue-failed direct laryngoscopy. However, Glidescope intubation is not always successful and certain predictors of failure can be identified. Providers should maintain their competency with alternate methods of intubation, especially for patients with neck pathology.

                Author and article information

                Korean J Anesthesiol
                Korean J Anesthesiol
                Korean Journal of Anesthesiology
                Korean Society of Anesthesiologists
                December 2019
                2 September 2019
                : 72
                : 6
                : 548-557
                Department of Anesthesiology, Singapore General Hospital, Singapore, Singapore
                Author notes
                Corresponding author: Wan Yen Lim, M.Med (Anaes) Department of Anaesthesiology, Singapore General Hospital, Outram Road, Singapore 169608, Singapore Tel: +65-6321-4220, Fax: +65-6321-4220 Email: lim.wan.yen@ 123456singhealth.com.sg
                Copyright © The Korean Society of Anesthesiologists, 2019

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/) which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

                Review Article
                Special Issue: Airway Management


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