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SYMPOSIUM: CRITICAL AIRWAY MANAGEMENT
Year : 2014  |  Volume : 4  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 50-56

Airway management in cervical spine injury


Department of Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA

Correspondence Address:
Vijay Krishnamoorthy
Department of Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine, University of Washington, Box 356540, 1959 NE Pacific Street, BB-1469, Seattle, WA 98195-6540
USA
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/2229-5151.128013

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To minimize risk of spinal cord injury, airway management providers must understand the anatomic and functional relationship between the airway, cervical column, and spinal cord. Patients with known or suspected cervical spine injury may require emergent intubation for airway protection and ventilatory support or elective intubation for surgery with or without rigid neck stabilization (i.e., halo). To provide safe and efficient care in these patients, practitioners must identify high-risk patients, be comfortable with available methods of airway adjuncts, and know how airway maneuvers, neck stabilization, and positioning affect the cervical spine. This review discusses the risks and benefits of various airway management strategies as well as specific concerns that affect patients with known or suspected cervical spine injury.


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