Arindam Choudhury1, Nishkarsh Gupta2, Rohan Magoon1, Poonam Malhotra Kapoor1
1 Department of Cardiac Anaesthesia, CTC, AIIMS, New Delhi, India
2 Department of Palliative Medicine, BRAIRCH, AIIMS, New Delhi, India
The difficult airway (DA) is a common problem encountered in patients undergoing cardiac surgery. However, the challenge is not only just establishment of airway but also maintaining a definitive airway for the safe conduct of cardiopulmonary bypass from initiation to weaning after surgical correction or palliation, de-airing of cardiac chambers. This review describes the management of the DA in a cardiac theater environment. The primary aims are recognition of DA both anatomical and physiological, necessary preparations for (and management of) difficult intubation and extubation. All patients undergoing cardiac surgery should initially be considered as having potentially DA as many of them have poor physiologic reserve. Making the cardiac surgical theater environment conducive to DA management is as essential as it is to deal with low cardiac output syndrome or acute heart failure. Tube obstruction and/or displacement should be suspected in case of a new onset ventilation problem, especially in the recovery unit. Cardiac anesthesiologists are often challenged with DA while inducing general endotracheal anesthesia. They ought to be familiar with the DA algorithms and possess skill for using the latest airway adjuncts.
Associate Professor, Department of Palliative Medicine, BRAIRCH, All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi
Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None
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