Author(s): Asai T
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Abstract In patients with unstable necks and at risk of pulmonary aspiration, awake fibreoptic intubation is often appropriate. However, stabilization of the neck can make fibreoptic intubation more difficult. I report the use of awake nasal intubation using the Pentax-Aiway Scope (AWS) in three patients with restricted neck movement, in whom awake fibreoptic intubation had failed. Case 1: a 59-yr-old man, at risk of aspiration, required an emergency cervical laminectomy. Awake fibreoptic intubation was attempted while a Halo vest was being applied, but it was impossible to see the glottis, mainly due to pharyngeal and laryngeal oedema. The Pentax-AWS was easily inserted orally, and nasotracheal intubation was achieved within 20 s. Case 2: an 85-yr-old woman with neck injury required emergency surgical stabilization. A retropharyngeal haematoma prevented a fibreoptic bronchoscope from being advanced beyond the epiglottis. Nasotracheal intubation using the Pentax-AWS (with the aid of a gum elastic bougie) was achieved within 1 min. Case 3: a 22-yr-old man, with partial spinal cord damage, was undergoing cervical laminoplasty. He was at risk of aspiration and had an oedematous larynx. Although it was possible to insert a fibreoptic bronchoscope into the trachea while the neck was stabilized with a Halo vest, it was impossible to advance a tube over the fibrescope. Awake nasotracheal intubation using the Pentax-AWS was achieved within 15 s. The Pentax-AWS may be useful for nasotracheal intubation in awake patients with restricted necks.
This article was published in Br J Anaesth
and referenced in Journal of Anesthesia & Clinical Research