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A practical clinical approach to management of the difficult airway

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  16 August 2006

G. B. Eindhoven
Affiliation:
Department of Anaesthesiology, University Hospital Groningen, PO Box 31.000, 9700 RB, The Netherlands
B. Dercksen
Affiliation:
Department of Anaesthesiology, University Hospital Groningen, PO Box 31.000, 9700 RB, The Netherlands
J. G. Regtien
Affiliation:
Department of Anaesthesiology, University Hospital Groningen, PO Box 31.000, 9700 RB, The Netherlands
P. A. J. Borg
Affiliation:
Department of Anaesthesiology, University Hospital Maastricht, The Netherlands
J. M. K. H. Wierda
Affiliation:
Department of Anaesthesiology, University Hospital Groningen, PO Box 31.000, 9700 RB, The Netherlands
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Abstract

Difficult airway management represents a challenge in anaesthesia. In the last decades airway difficulty awareness has improved as a result of better anticipation and decision-making. Airway algorithms and protocols have a more prominent role in training and in clinical anaesthesia practice. In addition, several new instruments and therefore new techniques have been developed. These have improved possibilities for the clinician to secure the airway. Clinicians should become familiar with this equipment and techniques by using them on a regular basis in elective cases. The instruments available must be selected by the characteristics of the patient population, the local circumstances and the experience of the anaesthesiologist. The aim of this paper is to provide some practical guidelines with respect to airway difficulty predictors and airway instrument choice.

Type
Original Article
Copyright
2001 European Society of Anaesthesiology

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