Difficult mask ventilation: does it matter?
Article first published online: 10 NOV 2011
© 2011 The Authors. Anaesthesia © 2011 The Association of Anaesthetists of Great Britain and Ireland
Special Issue: ‘State of the Art’ in Airway Management
Volume 66, Issue Supplement s2, pages 40–44, December 2011
How to Cite
Ramachandran, S. K. and Kheterpal, S. (2011), Difficult mask ventilation: does it matter?. Anaesthesia, 66: 40–44. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2044.2011.06933.x
- Issue published online: 10 NOV 2011
- Article first published online: 10 NOV 2011
- Accepted: 12 Sept 2011
We discuss the relevance of finding a patient’s lungs difficult to ventilate by facemask during the course of anaesthetic induction. In particular, we discuss the issue of whether it is advisable or unnecessary to check the ability to ventilate by facemask before administering a neuromuscular blocking agent. In the light of advances in supraglottic airway technology it has become possible to insert these devices very soon after induction and in a wider variety of patients. Similarly, the development of videolaryngoscopes and rapidly acting drugs such as rocuronium have raised the possibility of earlier, and possibly more successful, tracheal intubation, with the potential result that mask ventilation becomes redundant. However, we conclude by reaffirming its value in airway management strategies.