Southern African Journal of Anaesthesia and Analgesia

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Obstetric airway management

D Bishop


Obstetric airway management continues to provide a challenge to anaesthetists. The incidence of difficult and failed intubations has either remained static, or improved slightly, in specific settings in recent years. Established dogma is being challenged and practice continues to evolve and adapt to new evidence. Rapid sequence induction, while still the standard of care for airway management in obstetrics, is no longer considered to be essential in all cases. Supraglottic airway devices are being used in subcategories of patients as a first-line airway device, and are increasingly being accepted as a rescue device. In addition, novel devices, such as the video laryngoscope, are becoming increasingly commonplace in obstetric theatres. This review will briefly outline the problems with obstetric airway management, and then focus on a few of the areas where controversy still exists.

Keywords: obstetric, airway, management

AJOL African Journals Online