Airway assessment

Rahul Koka, B. Scott Segal

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


The preoperative evaluation of the airway and the ability to predict difficulty in airway management are essential components of preparing the patient for surgery. American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) Closed Claims Project analysis of adverse outcomes associated with anesthesia reveals that the most common cause of serious injury during anesthesia is inadequate ventilation. More often than not, this is secondary to problems with laryngoscopy and/or mask ventilation, that is, the “difficult airway.” Being able to predict the difficult airway is an essential tool that allows the anesthetist to select appropriate airway devices, techniques, and procedures. Patient history Preoperative airway management must include a focused and detailed history of diseases or symptoms related to the airway as well as a review of prior airway management events. There are recognized associations between a variety of congenital, acquired, and traumatic disease states and problems with airway management (Table 16.1). These diseases are usually associated with specific findings on physical examination that correlate with difficult laryngoscopy or ventilation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationEssential Clinical Anesthesia
PublisherCambridge University Press
Number of pages4
ISBN (Electronic)9780511842306
ISBN (Print)9780521720205
StatePublished - Jan 1 2011
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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