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Year : 2013  |  Volume : 3  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 108-112

Intubation of patients with angioedema: A retrospective study of different methods over three year period

1 Department of Anesthesiology, WSU/DMC Harper Hospital, 3990 John R Road, Box 162 Detroit, MI 48201, USA
2 Department of Anesthesiology, WSU/DMC Sinai-Grace Hospital, 6071 West Outer Drive, Detroit, MI 48235-2624, USA

Correspondence Address:
Marc Orlewicz
Department of Anesthesiology, WSU/DMC Sinai-Grace Hospital 6071 West Outer Drive, Detroit, MI 48235-2624
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Source of Support: This work was supported entirely from departmental resources. No external funding was involved, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2229-5151.114267

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Background: Angioedema (AE) is edema of the skin, subcutaneous tissue and/or submucosal tissues, resulting from extravasation of intravascular fluid. Swelling of the supraglottic mucosa can lead to airway obstruction with consequent hypoxia, brain damage and death. To date, fiberoptic bronchoscope (FOB) intubation of the spontaneously breathing patient is the preferred method for an anticipated difficult intubation. However, other alternative devices can be utilized to intubate angioedema successfully. Materials and Methods: A retrospective chart review was performed over a three-year period (2008-2010) of all patients with angioedema that required airway intervention. We hypothesized that fiberoptic intubation would have a higher success rate for intubation attempts; however, would take longer to perform when compared to videolaryngoscopic (VL) intubation. Outcomes for FOB versus VL intubations were reviewed, along with alternative miscellaneous methods of tracheal intubation in the setting of angioedema. Results: Thirty-three patients were grouped, according to the chosen method of intubation into FOB (n=12), VL (n=11), and miscellaneous (n=10) groups. No significant difference was found in first intubation attempts or number of intubation attempts between the three groups. Duration of time to perform successful intubation revealed a significantly shorter intubation time (P<0.05) in the VL group (6.9±0.9 min) and miscellaneous group (9.1±2.0 min) than that of the FOB group (10.4±0.7 min). Conclusion: This retrospective review of intubation methods showed that VL could be performed faster than FOB without an increase in adverse events.

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