Frerk et al’s article on the 2015 guidelines is available from the BJA here (open access), and the excellent recent editorial on front-of-neck access by Timmerman, Chrimes and Hagberg is here. This is not in the notes, as it has only just been published online.
Quick overview of the surgical cricothyroidotomy technique as presented in the 2015 Difficult Airway Society guidelines. This is simply presenting the technique in a manikin model, not intended as a debate about the relative merits of needle vs. surgical, blade vs. hook, scalpel-finger-bougie vs. scalpel-bougie-tube, etc!
Don’t forget to wear your PPE (gloves, mask, eye protection) and appropriately secure the tube afterwards.
As always, constructive criticism and suggestions for improvement are always welcomed in the comments section.
The guidelines are presented as a ‘Master Algorithm’ and several sub-algorithms to deal with specific aspects of obstetric airway management, and a guide to making the decision to awake the patient or continue with surgical delivery after an airway event:
Some thoughts (COI – the author did provide feedback on the draft algorithms):
Stressing good positioning for airway management is absolutely critical in this population, and especially in practice environments where patients tend to have a high BMI (a common situation in our South African setting). The guidelines include ramping and the ear-to-sternal-notch (E2SN) position.
The inclusion of cricoid pressure will inevitably spark the usual debate, but it is this author’s contention that this is likely an appropriate use until more evidence to the contrary emerges. The guidance to consider CP reduction or release in the event of difficulty is apt.
The inclusion of gentle face-mask assisted ventilation during RSI is a welcome inclusion. Will we see NPO2 or HFNC included in later editions as more outcomes evidence emerges?
Advocating the use of VL in obstetrics certainly sounds like a good idea, but is not attainable for most of the developing world. This is a huge area for growth/research – the development of low-cost VL solutions.
This is a great step forward in promoting safe airway management and guiding training in a particularly dangerous corner of our practice.
For some more thoughts and images, here is a Prezi on the subject presented at the SASA Difficult Airway workshop in 2014:
Good suggestion out of the Twittersphere from @Sub_Effect – the Difficult Airway Society (DAS) has a smartphone app available for both iOS and Android which allows you to work through the various algorithms at the click of a thumb. iDAS includes the following algorithms:
RSI Failed Intubation
Routine Failed Intubation
Overview of Guidelines
Best bit? It’s free!
Open access meducation for all aspects of airway management