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25.09.2019 | Original Research | Ausgabe 5/2020

Journal of Clinical Monitoring and Computing 5/2020

Impact of retrograde transillumination while securing the airway in obese patients undergoing bariatric surgery

Journal of Clinical Monitoring and Computing > Ausgabe 5/2020
Daniela D. Godoroja, Catalin A. Copaescu, Mihaela C. Agache, Peter Biro
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Video laryngoscopy (VL) is a well-established technique used in anaesthetising obese patients who present with higher risks of airway-related difficulties and desaturations due to shorter safe apnoea periods. However, VL has certain limitations and may fail. We present the Infrared Red Intubation System (IRRIS), a new technique facilitating glottis identification in severely obese patients undergoing anaesthesia for bariatric surgery. This single-centre, prospective trial assessed the efficacy of the IRRIS for VL tracheal intubation in 20 severely obese adult patients undergoing elective bariatric surgery under general anaesthesia. We assessed the ability of the IRRIS to differentiate the transilluminated glottis from the oesophagus and laryngeal folds and evaluated the ease of intubation. The average weight in the investigated patient cohort was 145 ± 29 kg, the suprasternal tissue thickness was 12 ± 4 mm. The median IQR [range] larynx recognition time was 10 [2–50] s, which was similar to that of lean patients. The degree of obesity correlated with the duration to achieve optimal laryngoscopic view and complete the intubation procedure. We achieved successful VL insertion on the first attempt in 13 of 20 cases (65%), and on the second attempt in 7 cases (35%), emphasising the increased probability of successful intubation on the first attempt. Tracheal intubation with the IRRIS lasted 50 [IQR 20–100] s. The lowest SpO2 during intubation was 98 [IQR 83–100] %. Addition of IRRIS to VL insertion facilitated the intubation of difficult airways in severely obese patients. IRRIS improves the visualization of the intubation pathway by selectively highlighting the airway entrance and shortens the time to successfully conclude the intubation procedure.

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