Difficult Airway Algorithm

1. Assess the likelihood ...
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Difficult Airway Algorithm



1. Assess the likelihood and clinical impact of basic management problems: 

 • Difficulty with patient cooperation or consent 

 • Difficult mask ventilation 

 • Difficult supraglottic airway placement 

 • Difficult laryngoscopy 

 • Difficult intubation 

 • Difficult surgical airway access 

2. Actively pursue opportunities to deliver supplemental oxygen throughout the process of difficult airway management. 

3. Consider the relative merits and feasibility of basic management choices: 

 • Awake intubation vs. intubation after induction of general anesthesia 

 • Non-invasive technique vs. invasive techniques for the initial approach to intubation 

 • Video-assisted laryngoscopy as an initial approach to intubation 

 • Preservation vs. ablation of spontaneous ventilation 

4. Develop primary and alternative strategies



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Contributed by

Dr. Aaron Brown
@aaronbrown
GrepMed Anesthesia Editor, UC Davis School of Medicine 2019
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