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Year : 2016  |  Volume : 60  |  Issue : 11  |  Page : 872-873  

Successful Airtraq® use for emergency off-centre glottic intubation in a patient with post-dialysis neck haematoma

Department of Anaesthesia, KEM Hospital, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India

Date of Web Publication9-Nov-2016

Correspondence Address:
Anjana S Wajekar
"Shri Niwas", Plot No. 62/7, Sector 28, Vashi, Navi Mumbai - 400 703, Maharashtra
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0019-5049.193709

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How to cite this article:
Wajekar AS, Kotak N, Patel R, Moharir R. Successful Airtraq® use for emergency off-centre glottic intubation in a patient with post-dialysis neck haematoma. Indian J Anaesth 2016;60:872-3

How to cite this URL:
Wajekar AS, Kotak N, Patel R, Moharir R. Successful Airtraq® use for emergency off-centre glottic intubation in a patient with post-dialysis neck haematoma. Indian J Anaesth [serial online] 2016 [cited 2021 Aug 3];60:872-3. Available from: https://www.ijaweb.org/text.asp?2016/60/11/872/193709


Video and optical laryngoscopes are increasingly being used in difficult airway management. Airtraq® (Prodol Meditec Ltd., Guangdong, China) has been successfully used for difficult airway in elective settings. [1] It has good success rates for intubation and decreased intubation times in manikin-based studies in emergency settings. [2] We present emergency difficult airway management using Airtraq® in a patient with post-dialysis neck haematoma, in whom traditional intubation with Macintosh laryngoscope and bougie was unsuccessful.

We received a call from the dialysis room for urgent intubation in a 45-year-old female patient who had an increasing neck haematoma immediately post-dialysis. There was history of right carotid artery puncture in an unsuccessful attempt for internal jugular vein cannulation, managed with pressure compression over artery for 10 min. She underwent haemodialysis with heparin which led to post-dialysis neck haematoma formation. On arrival, the patient could be mask ventilated with manual resuscitator bag. Two attempts at intubation with Macintosh laryngoscope and bougie were unsuccessful. On laryngoscopy, her glottis was off centre with complete shift of trachea to the left. Meanwhile, the patient suffered cardiac arrest but was immediately revived with a bolus dose of adrenaline. Emergency intubation was then successfully performed with the aid of Airtraq® by a senior anaesthesiologist with 7.5 mm endotracheal tube [Figure 1].
Figure 1: Neck haematoma

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Emergency intubations have always been associated with higher rate of complications leading to significant morbidity and mortality. [1] In our case, it was complicated by inadequate positioning, remote location, general environment of high stress and progressive increase in the size of haematoma. Extensive neck haematoma is an emergency which can exponentially deteriorate to loss of airway. There can be shift of trachea, limited neck movements and increased stiffness in the submandibular region, making oral intubation difficult and cricothyrotomy or tracheostomy impossible.

The Difficult Airway Society 2015 guidelines for the management of unanticipated difficult intubation in adults has included the use of videolaryngoscopes as part of Plan A and recommends that all anaesthetists should be skilled in their use and should have immediate access to it. [3]

Airtraq® is an indirect optical laryngoscope. The design of its blade conforms well to the oropharyngeal airway, thus enabling intubation without oral, pharyngeal and laryngeal axes alignment, facilitating intubation in neutral head position. Excellent glottic exposure is obtained due to the design of optical lenses and anti-fogging mechanism. Turkstra reported 66% less cervical spine motion during laryngoscopy with Airtraq® as compared to Macintosh laryngoscope. [4] Intubation with Airtraq® in six patients with off-centre glottis with the assistance of LMA™ endotracheal tube in non-emergency settings is reported. [5] A success rate of 68% (19/28) with Airtraq® in pre-hospital intubations performed by anaesthetists and nurse anaesthetists is reported in a retrospective study. [2] Hirabayashi et al. in their meta-analysis found Airtraq® to provide significant advantage over Macintosh laryngoscopy in difficult tracheal intubations. [6] Some of the limitations with its use are that it is disposable and costly, requires adequate mouth opening and may cause trauma. However, in the hands of a trained anaesthetsiologist, Airtraq® can be an invaluable adjunct for managing emergency difficult intubations.

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Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

   References Top

Ali QE, Amir SH, Siddiqui OA, Jamil S. Airway management in severe post-burn contracture of the neck using Airtraq: A case series. Indian J Anaesth 2013;57:620-2.  Back to cited text no. 1
[PUBMED]  Medknow Journal  
Gellerfors M, Larsson A, Svensén CH, Gryth D. Use of the Airtraq® device for airway management in the prehospital setting - A retrospective study. Scand J Trauma Resusc Emerg Med 2014;22:10.  Back to cited text no. 2
Frerk C, Mitchell VS, McNarry AF, Mendonca C, Bhagrath R, Patel A, et al. Difficult Airway Society 2015 guidelines for management of unanticipated difficult intubation in adults. Br J Anaesth 2015;115:827-48.  Back to cited text no. 3
Turkstra TP, Pelz DM, Jones PM. Cervical spine motion: A fluoroscopic comparison of the AirTraq laryngoscope versus the Macintosh laryngoscope. Anesthesiology 2009;111:97-101.  Back to cited text no. 4
Gómez-Ríos MÁ, Gómez-Ríos D. Endotracheal intubation using the Airtraq optical laryngoscope when the glottis is off-center of the viewfinder: Are the options of optimization exhausted? Rev Bras Anestesiol 2015;65:534-5.  Back to cited text no. 5
Hirabayashi Y, Hoshuijima H, Kuratani N. Airtraq for difficult airways: A meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Masui 2013;62:879-85.  Back to cited text no. 6


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1 Heparin
Reactions Weekly. 2017; 1633(1): 363
[Pubmed] | [DOI]


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