We read with great interest the anesthetic technique of using a gum elastic bougie (GEB) for nasal intubation in a recent issue of Anesthesia Progress. The authors recommend the use of GEB for the first attempt of nasotracheal intubation in patients with a difficult airway. We agree that this is an excellent alternative. We also have found an excellent variation of this method that utilizes a double bougie technique for insertion of a nasotracheal tube if the difficult airway can be secured initially with an orotracheal tube.
Dual bougie technique; Nasotracheal intubation
The ProSeal laryngeal mask airway (PLMA) is a unique laryngeal mask with a modified cuff to improve seal and a channel to facilitate gastric tube placement. This is a better device in difficult airway situations compared to classic laryngeal mask airway. This prompted us to study the ease of insertion and positioning of PLMA in patients with simulated restricted neck mobility while using gum elastic bougie (GEB) group or introducer tool (group IT) to aid insertion.
Sixty ASA I or II patients, aged between 18 years and 60 years, undergoing minor non-head and neck surgeries in the supine position were studied. A rigid neck collar was used to simulate restricted neck mobility in all patients. After anaesthetising the patients with a standard protocol, the PLMA was inserted using either of the technique using the tongue depressor to open the mouth. The ease of insertion, positioning, haemodynamic responses to insertion and other complications related to the procedure were noted.
Regarding demographic variables, both groups were similar. The mean time taken for insertion of PLMA in group GEB was 67.80 s as compared to 46.79 s in group IT (P<0.05). Patients of group GEB had better positioning assessed by an intubating fiberscope with less end tidal carbon-di-oxide (ETCO2) values. Systolic and diastolic blood pressures were similar. The incidence of sore throat, dysphagia, and dysphonia were higher in IT group in the 12 h, but similar in 24 h.
Guided insertion technique with GEB took a longer time, but had a better positioning and lower ETCO2 values when compared to IT technique.
Difficult airway; gum elastic bougie; ProSeal laryngeal mask; simulation
The Proseal™ laryngeal mask airway (PLMA™, Laryngeal Mask Company, UK) was designed to improve ventilatory characteristics and offer protection against regurgitation and gastric insufflation. The PLMA is a modified laryngeal mask airway with large ventral cuff, dorsal cuff and a drain tube. These modifications improve seal around glottis and enable better ventilatory characteristics. The drain tube prevents gastric distension and offers protection against aspiration. There were occasional problems, like failed insertion and inadequate ventilation, in placing PLMA™ using the classical digital technique. To overcome these problems, newer placement techniques like thumb insertion technique, introducer tool placement and gum elastic bougie (GEB)-aided placement were devised. We compared classical digital placement of PLMA™ with gum elastic bougie-aided technique in 60 anaesthetised adult patients (with 30 patients in each group) with respect to number of attempts to successful placement, effective airway time, airway trauma during insertion, postoperative airway morbidity and haemodynamic response to insertion. The number of attempts to successful placement, airway trauma during insertion and haemodynamic response to insertion were comparable among the two groups, while effective airway time and oropharyngeal leak pressure were significantly higher in bougie- guided insertion of PLMA. Postoperatively, sore throat was more frequent with digital technique while dysphagia was more frequent with bougie guided technique. Hence gum elastic bougie guided, laryngoscope aided insertion of PLMA is an excellent alternate to classical digital technique.
Anaesthesia; airway; equipment; laryngeal masks; technique; oropharyngeal seal pressure
We report the case of a 30 year old man managed in an out of hospital setting for a cardiorespiratory arrest. The patient was impossible to intubate under direct laryngoscopy because of a severe mouth opening limitation associated with a buffalo neck. After failure of direct laryngoscopy and intubating laryngeal mask airway, an Eschmann tracheal tube introducer (gum elastic bougie) was introduced through a nostril. The bougie could be blindly inserted into the trachea, and the patient was intubated using the bougie as a guide. Tracheal intubation was then confirmed using the syringe aspiration test and end tidal carbon dioxide detection.
out of hospital; cardiopulmonary resuscitation; airway management; difficult intubation
The laryngeal mask airway-ProSeal™ can be inserted digitally, by introducer tool, or by railroading it over a bougie placed first in the patient's oesophagus, which is highly successful, but as originally described, requires an assistant. An unassisted bougie-guided placement technique has also been described, but no data on its effectiveness have been reported.
We reviewed data collected during a randomized, controlled trial comparing the air-Q® Intubating Laryngeal Airway and LMA-Proseal™, in which all LMA-Proseal™ devices were inserted using the unassisted (one-operator), bougie-guided placement technique.
Forty-eight devices were placed. All devices were placed successfully. Successful placement was achieved in 47 (98%) patients on first attempt and in one (2%) patient on the third attempt. Mean (SD) time required for insertion establishing ventilation was 28 (11) s. Mean (SD) airway seal pressure was 30 (6) cmH2O. Gross blood was found on four (8%) devices upon removal, but no oropharyngeal injuries were noted on oral exam in the recovery unit prior to discharge. The most common complaints in recovery and 24 h post-operatively were sore throat [discharge: mild = 18/48 (38%); 24 h: mild = 9/38 (19%), moderate = 1/38 (3%)] and pain on swallowing [discharge: mild = 7/48 (15%); 24 h: mild = 2/38 (6%)].
Our data confirm that in experienced hands, bougie-guided placement of the LMA-Proseal™ without the aid of an assistant can be accomplished quickly and successfully without affecting the expected clinical performance of the device.
Bougie; insertion; LMA; Proseal
The placement of endotracheal tubes in the airway, particularly through the nose, can cause trauma. Their design might be an important etiologic factor, but they have changed little since their introduction. Recently Parker Medical (Bridgewater, Conn ) introduced the Parker Flex-Tip (PFT) tube, suggesting that it causes less trauma. This study aimed to compare the PFT endotracheal tube to a side-beveled, standard-tip endotracheal tube (ETT) for nasotracheal intubation (Figures 1 and 2). Forty consecutive oral surgery patients requiring nasotracheal intubation were randomized to receive either a standard ETT or the PFT tube. Intubations were recorded using a fiber-optic camera positioned proximal to the Murphy eye of the tube. This allowed visualization of the path and action of the tube tip as it traversed the nasal, pharyngeal, laryngeal, and tracheal airway regions. Video recordings made during intubation and extubation were evaluated for bleeding, trauma, and intubation time. Both bleeding and trauma were recorded using a visual analogue scale (VAS) and by 3 different evaluators. The PFT received significantly better VAS values than the standard tubes from all 3 raters (P < 0.05) in both the extent of trauma and bleeding. Since the intubations were purposefully conducted slowly for photographic reasons, neither tube displayed a time advantage. This study suggests that the PFT tube design may be safer by causing less trauma and bleeding than standard tube designs for nasotracheal intubation.
Nasotracheal intubation; Parker Flex-Tip tube; Endotracheal intubation; Endotracheal tube; Fiber-optic intubation
GlideScope® videolaryngoscopy (GVL) has been shown to improve visualization of the glottis compared to direct laryngoscopy (DL). However, due to the angle of approach to the glottis, intubation can still be challenging. We hypothesized that novice GVL users would be able to intubate faster and easier using an airway introducer (frequently known as a bougie) than with a standard intubating stylet.
Intubations were performed on a human airway simulator with settings for easy and difficult airways. Participants were emergency medicine (EM) residents or faculty (n=21) who were novice GVL users. Participants were intubated a total of eight times (four GVL, four DL) using either a bougie or an intubating stylet. We recorded time to intubate (TTI) and difficulty rating using a visual analog scale (VAS) and non-parametric statistical methods for analysis. We reported medians with interquartile range (IQR).
The median TTI with difficult airway settings and the bougie-GVL was 76 seconds (IQR 50, 102) versus 64 seconds (IQR 50.5, 125), p=0.76 for the stylet-GVL combination. The median VAS difficulty score, on difficult airway settings, for the bougie-GVL was 5 cm (IQR 3.3, 8.0) versus 6.2 cm (IQR 5.0, 7.5) with the stylet-GVL, p=0.53.
Among novices using GVL for simulated difficult airway management, there was no benefit, in terms of speed or ease of intubation, by using the bougie over the standard stylet.
The Truview™ EVO2 laryngoscope, with its unique optical lens system and blade tip angulation, has proved its usefulness in providing adequate laryngeal exposure and intubation via the oral route. However, the same has not been evaluated for nasotracheal intubation.
We evaluated the suitability of the Truview™ EVO2 laryngoscope for nasotracheal intubation.
Fifty ASA grade I and II elective surgical patients were studied. Patients aged below 15 years or having difficult airway were excluded. Under standard anesthesia protocol, nasotracheal intubation was performed using a Truview™ EVO2 laryngoscope and, in cases of inability to complete intubation in three attempts, the Macintosh laryngoscope was used. Time taken for intubation, use of Magill's forceps and need for optimization maneuvers were noted. The primary outcome was percentage of successful intubation, while hemodynamic changes and duration of intubation were taken as secondary outcomes.
Majority (94%) could be intubated successfully with the Truview™ EVO2 laryngoscope. Average time taken for intubation was 50.1 s. The hemodynamic changes were not clinically significant. Regression analysis revealed lack of association between duration of intubation and hemodynamic changes. There were no serious complications.
The Truview™ EVO2 laryngoscope is a useful tool in performing nasotracheal intubation, ensuring a high level of success rate among patients with normal airway anatomy.
Laryngoscope; orthognathic surgery; nasotracheal intubation; Truview™ EVO2
A wire-reinforced silicone tube (LMA-Fastrach™ endotracheal tube) is specially designed for tracheal intubation using intubating laryngeal mask airway (ILMA). However, conventional polyvinyl chloride (PVC) tracheal tubes have also been used with ILMA to achieve tracheal intubation successfully.
To evaluate the success of tracheal intubation using the LMA-Fastrach™ tracheal tube versus conventional PVC tracheal tube through ILMA.
Settings and Design:
Two hundred adult ASA physical status I/II patients, scheduled to undergo elective surgery under general anaesthesia requiring intubation, were randomly allocated into two groups.
The number of attempts, time taken, and manoeuvres employed to accomplish tracheal intubation were compared using conventional PVC tubes (group I) and LMA-Fastrach™ wire-reinforced silicone tubes (group II). Intraoperative haemodynamic changes and evidence of trauma and postoperative incidence of sore throat and hoarseness, were compared between the groups.
The data was analyzed using two Student's t test and Chi-square test for demographics and haemodynamic parameters. Mann Whitney U test was used for comparison of time taken for endotracheal tube insertion. Fisher's exact test was used to compare postoperative complications.
Rate of successful tracheal intubation and haemodynamic variables were comparable between the groups. Time taken for tracheal intubation and manoeuvres required to accomplish successful endotracheal intubation, however, were significantly greater in group I than group II (14.71±6.21 s and 10.04±4.49 s, respectively (P<0.001), and 28% in group I and 3% in group II, respectively (P<0.05)).
Conventional PVC tube can be safely used for tracheal intubation through the ILMA.
Fastrach; intubating laryngeal mask airway; polyvinyl chloride; tracheal intubation
The airway management of patients with subglottic stenosis poses many challenges for the anesthesiologists. Many anesthesiologists use a narrow endotracheal tube for airway control. This, however, can lead to complications such as tracheal mucosal trauma, tracheal perforation or bleeding. The ASA difficult airway algorithm recommends the use of supraglottic airway devices in a failed intubation/ventilation scenario. In this report, we present a case of failed intubation in a patient with subglottic stenosis successfully managed during an i-gel™ supraglottic airway device. The device provided a good seal, and allowed for controlled mechanical ventilation with acceptable peak pressures while the patient was in the beach-chair position.
Airway management; Subglottic stenosis
Angioedema (AE) is edema of the skin, subcutaneous tissue and/or submucosal tissues, resulting from extravasation of intravascular fluid. Swelling of the supraglottic mucosa can lead to airway obstruction with consequent hypoxia, brain damage and death. To date, fiberoptic bronchoscope (FOB) intubation of the spontaneously breathing patient is the preferred method for an anticipated difficult intubation. However, other alternative devices can be utilized to intubate angioedema successfully.
Materials and Methods:
A retrospective chart review was performed over a three-year period (2008-2010) of all patients with angioedema that required airway intervention. We hypothesized that fiberoptic intubation would have a higher success rate for intubation attempts; however, would take longer to perform when compared to videolaryngoscopic (VL) intubation. Outcomes for FOB versus VL intubations were reviewed, along with alternative miscellaneous methods of tracheal intubation in the setting of angioedema.
Thirty-three patients were grouped, according to the chosen method of intubation into FOB (n=12), VL (n=11), and miscellaneous (n=10) groups. No significant difference was found in first intubation attempts or number of intubation attempts between the three groups. Duration of time to perform successful intubation revealed a significantly shorter intubation time (P<0.05) in the VL group (6.9±0.9 min) and miscellaneous group (9.1±2.0 min) than that of the FOB group (10.4±0.7 min).
This retrospective review of intubation methods showed that VL could be performed faster than FOB without an increase in adverse events.
Airway obstruction; angioedema; bronchoscope; bronchoscopy; intubation–laryngeal mask; videolaryngoscope
We report a case of prehospital “cannot intubate” and “cannot ventilate” scenarios successfully managed by strictly following a difficult airway management algorithm. Five airway devices were used: the Macintosh laryngoscope, the gum elastic Eschmann bougie, the LMA Fastrach, the Melker cricothyrotomy cannula, and the flexible fiberscope. Although several airway devices were used, overall airway management duration was relatively short, at 20 min, because for each scenario, failed primary and secondary backup devices were quickly abandoned after 2 failed attempts, each attempt of no more than 2 min in duration, in favor of the tertiary rescue device. Equally, all three of these rescue devices failed, an uncuffed cricothyroidotomy cannula was inserted to restore optimal arterial oxygenation until a definitive airway was secured in the ICU using a flexible fiberscope. Our case reinforces the need to strictly follow a difficult airway management algorithm that employs a limited number of effective devices and techniques, and highlights the imperative for early activation of successive preplanned steps of the algorithm.
Determination of difficult airway maintenance preoperatively holds a great significance in different intubation techniques and also surgical exploration of airway. No data is available for relation of airway maintenance and preoperative interincisal mouth opening in oral submucous fibrosis patients.
20 oral submucous fibrosis patients were evaluated pre operatively for general anaesthesia. Direct nasotracheal intubation, fiberoptic laryngoscopy guided intubation or awake blind nasal intubation technique, or combination of above techniques were used.
Mean pre operative inter incisal mouth opening for direct nasotracheal intubation (nine patients) is 15.44 mm, fiberoptic guided laryngoscopy (six patients) is 9.0 mm and blind nasal intubation (five patients) is 5.2 mm.
Benefits of avoiding a surgical exploration of airway was significant.
Pre operative inter incisal mouth opening; Direct nasotracheal intubation; Fiberoptic guided laryngoscopy; Awake blind nasal intubation; Oral submucous fibrosis
The Aintree intubating catheter (Cook® Medical Inc., Bloomington, IN, USA) has been shown to successfully facilitate difficult intubations when other methods have failed. The Aintree intubating catheter (Cook® Medical Inc., Bloomington, IN, USA) has a fixed length of 56 cm, and it has been suggested in the literature that it may be too short for safe use in patients who are tall.
We present the case of a 32-year-old, 180 cm tall Caucasian woman with a predicted difficult airway who presented to our facility for an emergency cesarean section. After several failed intubation attempts via direct laryngoscopy, an airway was established with a laryngeal mask airway. After delivery of a healthy baby, our patient's condition necessitated tracheal intubation. A fiber-optic bronchoscope loaded with an Aintree intubating catheter (Cook® Medical Inc., Bloomington, IN, USA) was passed through the laryngeal mask airway into the trachea until just above the carina, but was too short to safely allow for the passage of an endotracheal tube.
We present a novel technique in which the Aintree intubating catheter (Cook® Medical Inc., Bloomington, IN, USA) was replaced with a longer (100 cm) exchange catheter, over which an endotracheal tube was passed successfully into the trachea.
Many patients with disabilities need recurrent dental treatment under general anesthesia because of high caries prevalence and the nature of dental treatment. We evaluated the use of a nasal device as a possible substitute for flexible laryngeal mask airway to reduce the risk of unexpected failure accompanying intubation; we succeeded in ventilating the lungs with a cut nasotracheal tube (CNT) with its tip placed in the pharynx. We hypothesized that this technique would be useful during dental treatment under general anesthesia and investigated its usefulness as part of a minimally invasive technique. A prospective study was designed using general anesthesia in 37 dental patients with disabilities such as intellectual impairment, autism, and cerebral palsy. CNT ventilation was compared with mask ventilation with the patient in 3 positions: the neck in flexion, horizontal position, and in extension. The effect of mouth gags was also recorded during CNT ventilation. The percentages of cases with effective ventilation were similar for the 2 techniques in the neck extension and horizontal positions (89.2–97.3%). However, CNT ventilation was significantly more effective than mask ventilation in the neck flexion position (94.6 vs 45.9%; P < .0001). Mouth gags slightly reduced the rate of effective ventilation in the neck flexion position. Most dental treatments involving minor oral surgeries were performed using mouth gags during CNT ventilation. CNT ventilation was shown to be superior to mask ventilation and is useful during dental treatment under general anesthesia.
General anesthesia; Cut nasotracheal tube.
Treatment techniques for airway obstruction in croup and epiglottitis are reviewed in the medical literature. Series totaling 295 nasotracheal intubations, and 591 tracheostomies were reviewed. There were two deaths attributable to airway complications in 126 patients in whom nasotracheal intubation was carried out. In three patients subglottic granulation tissue and subglottic stenoses developed from short-term nasotracheal intubation. There were no subglottic stenoses or tracheal stenoses reported in the 591 tracheostomies. From this review, it would seem feasible to use nasotracheal intubation for short-term airway treatment in croup and epiglottitis. The increasing occurrence of laryngeal and tracheal complications with long-term intubation suggests that tracheostomy be considered in such cases.
A large number of techniques and devices for cricothyroidotomy have been developed. In this study, the Portex™ Cricothyroidotomy Kit (PCK, Smiths Medical Ltd, Hythe, UK) was compared with the bougie assisted emergency surgical cricothyrotomy technique (BACT).
Twenty air ambulance anaesthesiologists performed emergency cricothyrotomy on a cadaveric porcine airway model using both PCK and BACT. Baseline performance and performance after the intensive training package were recorded. Success rate, time to secured airway and tracheal damage were the primary endpoints, and confidence rating was a secondary endpoint.
During baseline testing, success rates for PCK and BACT were 60% and 95%, respectively. Tracheal injury rate with PCK was 60% while no such injury was found in BACT. A lecture was given and skills were trained until the participants were able to perform five consecutive successful procedures with both techniques. In the post-training test, all participants were successful with either technique. The mean time to successful insertion was reduced by 15.7 seconds (from 36.3 seconds to 20.6 seconds, p< 0.001) for PCK and by 7.8 seconds (from 44.9 seconds to 37.1 seconds, p=0.021) for BACT. In the post-training scenario, securing the airway with PCK was significantly faster than with BACT (p<0.001). Post-training tracheal laceration occurred in six (30%) of the PCK procedures and in none of the BACT procedures (p=0.028).
The self-evaluated confidence level was measured both pre- and post-training using a confidence scale with 10 indicating maximum amount of confidence. The median values increased from 4 to 8 for PCK and from 6.5 to 9.5 for BACT. All participants reported that BACT was their preferred technique.
Testing the base-line PCK skills of prehospital anaesthesiologists revealed low confidence, sub-optimal performance and a very high failure rate. The BACT technique demonstrated a significantly higher success rate and no tracheal damage. In spite of PCK being a significantly faster technique in the post-training test, the anaesthesiologists still reported a higher confidence in BACT. Limitations of the cadaveric porcine airway may have influenced this study because the airway did not challenge the clinicians with realistic tissue bleeding.
Emergency cricothyrotomy; Cannot intubate -cannot ventilate; Pre-hospital airway management
The I-gel™ is a single-use supraglottic airway device introduced in 2007 which features a non-inflatable cuff and allows passage of a tracheal tube owing to its large diameter and short length of the airway tube. In this case, the authors experienced a difficult airway management on a 4-year-old boy with underlying Goldenhar syndrome who underwent a tonsillectomy. Intubation using a laryngoscope was unsuccessful at the first attempt. In the following attempt, we used the I-gel™ supraglottic airway for ventilation and were able to achieve successful intubation with a cuffed tube by using fiberoptic bronchoscope through the I-gel™ supraglottic airway. The authors suggest that I-gel™ is a useful device for ventilation and it has many advantages for tracheal intubation in pediatric patients with difficult airway.
Airway management; Fiberoptic bronchoscope; Goldenhar syndrome; Laryngeal mask airway; Pediatric
Selection of the ideal airway device in patients with difficult airways (DA) or potentially difficult airways remains controversial, especially, for a novice anesthesia physician (NP) who must deviate from conventional direct laryngoscopy with a rigid laryngoscope following a failed intubation and employ one of the several alternative devices. The author determines and compares tracheal intubation success rates, times to success and complications of a novice physician using four alternative airway devices in 20 obese (BMI more than 27.5) patients who may be more difficult to intubate than normal weight patients.
Materials and Methods:
In this prospective randomized experimental study the author investigates a novice physician's use of the Bullard™, Fiberoptic™, Fastrach™ and Trachlight™ comparing reliability, rapidity and safety of orotracheal intubations. Following induction of anesthesia the NP was allowed up to a maximum of two attempts per device at oral intubation. Mean intubation times plus/minus SD, per cent success rates and postoperative complications were evaluated for each device.
The Fastrach™ was successful 100% of the time on the first attempt requiring a mean time of 55 seconds plus/minus 6.6. All intubations were unsuccessful following two attempts with the Fiberoptic™. A success rate of 20% (one of five) was achieved with the Trachlight™ on first attempt after 95 seconds. The Bullard™ was successful in 40 % (two of five) of the patients after a mean time 60 seconds plus/minus five, but was the only device to result in mild oral discomfort one day post operatively.
In the hands of a novice physician managing a difficult or potentially difficult airway, often encountered in obese patients, the Fastrach™ demonstrated the highest success rate.
Airway; difficult; physician
Maxillofacial fractures present unique airway problems to the anaesthesiologist. Nasotracheal intubation is contraindicated due to associated Lefort I, II or III fractures. The requirement for intraoperative maxillomandibular fixation (MMF) to re-establish dental occlusion in such cases precludes orotracheal intubation. Tracheostomy has a high complication rate and in many patients, an alternative to the oral airway is not required beyond the perioperative period. Hernandez1 in 1986 first described “The submental route for endotracheal intubation”. Later some workers faced difficult tube passage, bleeding, and sublingual gland involvement with this approach. They modified this to strict midline submental intubation and there were no operative or postoperative complications in their cases.67&8. Therefore we used mid line approach for submental orotracheal intubation in this study to demonstrate its feasibility and reliability and that it can be used as an excellent substitute to short term tracheostomy.
Patients & Methods:
We used midline submental intubation in 25 cases selected out of 310 consecutively treated patients with maxillofacial trauma over a 3 year period. After induction orotracheal intubation was done with spiral re-inforced tube. A 1.5-2.0 cm skin incision was made in the submental region in the midline 2.0 cm behind the symphysis and endotracheal tube was taken out through this incision in all the cases. At the end of the surgery the procedure was reversed, the submental wound was stitched; all the patients could be extubated & none of them required post-operative mechanical ventilation.
There were no significant operative or postoperative complications. Postoperative submental scarring was acceptable. We conclude that midline submental intubation is a simple and useful technique with low morbidity. It can be chosen in selected cases of maxillofacial trauma and is an excellent substitute to tracheostomy where postoperative mechanical ventilation is not required.
Submental orotracheal intubation; Maxillofacial injury; Tracheostomy
Background. Retrograde intubation is useful for obtaining endotracheal access when direct laryngoscopy proves difficult. The technique is a practical option in the “cannot intubate / can ventilate” scenario. However, it is equally useful as an elective technique in awake patients with anticipated difficult airways. Many practitioners report difficulty successfully advancing the endotracheal tube due to anatomical obstructions and the acute angle of the anterograde guide. The purpose of this study was to test whether a more caudal tracheal puncture would increase the success rate. Methods. Twenty-four anesthesiology residents were randomly assigned to either a cricothyroid or a cricotracheal puncture group. Each was instructed how to perform the technique and then attempted it on a manikin at their assigned site. Data collection included whether the trachea was intubated, the number of attempts required, and the total time. Results. Both groups displayed a high degree of success. While the group assigned to the cricotracheal site required significantly more time to perform the procedure, they accomplished it in fewer attempts than the cricothyroid group. Conclusion. Retrograde intubation performed via a cricotracheal puncture site, while more time consuming, resulted in fewer attempts to advance the endotracheal tube and may reduce in vivo laryngeal trauma.
Oromaxillofacial surgical procedures present a unique set of problems both for the surgeon and for the anesthesist. Achieving dental occlusion is one of the fundamental aims of most oromaxillofacial procedures. Oral intubation precludes this surgical prerequisite of checking dental occlusion. Having the tube in the field of surgery is often disturbing for the surgeon too, especially in the patient for whom skull base surgery is planned. Nasotracheal intubation is usually contraindicated in the presence of nasal bone fractures seen either in isolation or as a component of Le Fort fractures. We utilized submental endotracheal intubation in such situations and the experience has been very satisfying.
Materials and Methods:
The technique has been used in 20 patients with maxillofacial injuries and those requiring Le Fort I approach with or without maxillary swing for skull base tumors. Initial oral intubation is done with a flexo-metallic tube. A small 1.5 cm incision is given in the submental region and a blunt tunnel is created in the floor of the mouth staying close to the lingual surface of mandible and a small opening is made in the mucosa. The tracheal end of tube is stabilized with Magil′s forceps, and the proximal end is brought out through submental incision by using a blunt hemostat taking care not to injure the pilot balloon. At the end of procedure extubation is done through submental location only.
The technique of submental intubation was used in a series of twenty patients from January 2005 to date. There were fifteen male patients and five female patients with a mean age of twenty seven years (range 10 to 52). Seven patients had Le Fort I osteotomy as part of the approach for skull base surgery. Twelve patients had midfacial fractures at the Le Fort II level, of which 8 patients in addition had naso-ethomoidal fractures and 10 patients an associated fracture mandible. Twelve patients were extubated in the theatre. Eight patients had delayed extubation in the post-operative ward between 1 and 3 days postoperatively.
In conclusion, the submental intubation technique has proved to be a simple solution for many a difficult problem one would encounter during oromaxillofacial surgical procedures. It provides a safe and reliable route for the endotracheal tube during intubation while staying clear of the surgical field and permitting the checking of the dental occlusion, all without causing any significant morbidity for the patient. Its usefulness both in the emergency setting and for elective procedures has been proved. The simplicity of the technique with no specialized equipment or technical expertise required makes it especially advantageous. This technique therefore, when used in appropriate cases, allows both the surgeon and the anesthetist deliver a better quality of patient care.
Avoiding tracheostomy; oromaxillofacial surgery; intubation
Management of an anticipated difficult airway relies heavily on flexible fiber-optic bronchoscope (FFB) guided awake intubations. In a pediatric patient with difficult airway, doing an awake procedure may be difficult, and hence the child is either deeply sedated or anesthesia is induced before attempting intubation with an appropriate sized FFB. We present the anesthetic management of a 6-year-old child with a lacerated tongue and fractured mandibular condyle, with subsequent inability to open his mouth, who was posted for urgent exploration and open reduction under anesthesia. Unhindered by a damaged pediatric FFB, we innovated by positioning the tip of an adult FFB just outside the larynx, passing a j-tipped guidewire through the working channel of the FFB, and successfully railroaded a naso-tracheal tube over the guidewire. The surgery, reversal and extubation, and the postoperative period were uneventful.
Flexible fiber-optic bronchoscope; guidewire; pediatric difficult airway; working channel
The Airtraq® optical laryngoscope (Prodol Ltd., Vizcaya, Spain) is a novel disposable device facilitating tracheal intubation in routine and difficult airway patients. No data investigating routine tracheal intubation using the Airtaq® in patients at a high cardiac risk are available at present. Purpose of this study was to investigate the feasibility and hemodynamic implications of tracheal intubation with the Aitraq® optical laryngoscope, in high-risk cardio-surgical patients.
123 consecutive ASA III patients undergoing elective coronary artery bypass grafting were routinely intubated with the Airtraq® laryngoscope. Induction of anesthesia was standardized according to our institutional protocol. All tracheal intubations were performed by six anesthetists trained in the use of the Airtraq® prior.
Overall success rate was 100% (n = 123). All but five patients trachea could be intubated in the first attempt (95,9%). 5 patients were intubated in a 2nd (n = 4) or 3rd (n = 1) attempt. Mean intubation time was 24.3 s (range 16-128 s). Heart rate, arterial blood pressure and SpO2 were not significantly altered. Minor complications were observed in 6 patients (4,8%), i.e. two lesions of the lips and four minor superficial mucosal bleedings. Intubation duration (p = 0.62) and number of attempts (p = 0.26) were independent from BMI and Mallampati score.
Tracheal intubation with the Airtraq® optical laryngoscope was feasible, save and easy to perform in high-risk patients undergoing cardiac surgery. In all patients, a sufficient view on the vocal cords could be obtained, independent from BMI and preoperative Mallampati score.
Airway management in patients with faciomaxillary injuries is challenging due to disruption of components of upper airway. The anesthesiologist has to share the airway with the surgeons. Oral and nasal routes for intubation are often not feasible. Most patients have associated nasal fractures, which precludes use of nasal route of intubation. Intermittent intraoperative dental occlusion is needed to check alignment of the fracture fragments, which contraindicates the use of orotracheal intubation. Tracheostomy in such situations is conventional and time-tested; however, it has life-threatening complications, it needs special postoperative care, lengthens hospital stay, and adds to expenses. Retromolar intubation may be an option, But the retromolar space may not be adequate in all adult patients. Submental intubation provides intraoperative airway control, avoids use of oral and nasal route, with minimal complications. Submental intubation allows intraoperative dental occlusion and is an acceptable option, especially when long-term postoperative ventilation is not planned. This technique has minimal complications and has better patients’ and surgeons’ acceptability. There have been several modifications of this technique with an expectation of an improved outcome. The limitations are longer time for preparation, inability to maintain long-term postoperative ventilation and unfamiliarity of the technique itself. The technique is an acceptable alternative to tracheostomy for the good per-operative airway access.
Adult; intubation; intratracheal methods; maxillofacial injuries/surgery; oral/methods; surgery