Progress in management of the obstructed airway


Dr Anil Patel


There is no consensus as to the ideal approach for the anaesthetic management of the adult obstructed airway and there are advocates of awake fibreoptic intubation, inhalational induction and intravenous induction techniques. This review considers the different options available for obstruction at different anatomical levels. Decisions must also be made on the urgency of the required intervention. Particular controversies revolve around the role of inhalational vs intravenous induction of anaesthesia, the use or avoidance of neuromuscular blockade and the employment of cannula cricothyroidotomy vs surgical tracheostomy.