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Difficult airway management of children in ambulatory anesthesia: challenges and solutions

Authors Huang AS, Rutland L, Hajduk J, Jagannathan N

Received 3 February 2016

Accepted for publication 19 February 2016

Published 11 November 2016 Volume 2016:3 Pages 37—45


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Gildasio S De Oliveira Jr.

Andrea S Huang,1 Lindsey Rutland,2 John Hajduk,1 Narasimhan Jagannathan1,2

1Department of Pediatric Anesthesia, Ann and Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago, 2Department of Anesthesiology, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, IL, USA

Abstract: As the field of pediatric ambulatory anesthesia expands, anesthesiologists can anticipate encountering an increasing number of patients with expected and unexpected difficult airways. This unique setting and patient population both present challenges in making a decision whether and how to safely proceed in the case of a child with a difficult airway. A host of patient, provider, procedure, and facility-specific factors should be considered. Providers should understand the differences between the pediatric and adult airway, recognize common features and syndromes associated with difficult airways, and be comfortable with different airway equipment and techniques available in the ambulatory setting. Early anticipation, a comprehensive patient assessment, and a clear decision-making algorithm with multiple airway management plans are all critical in safely and effectively managing these patients. These issues and recommendations will be discussed in this comprehensive narrative review.

difficult airway, pediatrics, ambulatory surgery, airway devices, children

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