A complication of transtracheal jet ventilation and use of the Aintree intubation catheter during airway resuscitation

T M Cook, B Bigwood, J Cranshaw
Anaesthesia 2006, 61 (7): 692-7
We report the management of a patient requiring surgical laryngoscopy with a view to laser resection of an epiglottic recurrence of laryngeal cancer. Previous attempts at tracheal intubation and awake nasal fibreoptic intubation had failed. During a previous anaesthetic the patient had been both 'impossible to intubate and to ventilate'. Neck scarring potentially complicated access for transtracheal jet ventilation. Nevertheless, a cricothyroid catheter was placed and surgery performed during low frequency 'volume' jet ventilation. Upper airway obstruction developed during the procedure, preventing exhalation, which led to raised intrathoracic pressure, cardiovascular collapse and barotrauma. The airway was re-established by insertion of an LMA Proseal. Fibreoptic placement of an Aintree intubation catheter through this allowed re-oxygenation and exchange for a cuffed tracheal tube. Some hours after the procedure, re-intubation was necessary. This was achieved using the Aintree intubation catheter as an aid to nasal fibreoptic intubation and as a tube exchanger. Novel roles of the Aintree intubation catheter and LMA Proseal in this case are discussed. Complications of transtracheal jet ventilation as well as possible methods for avoiding them are also reviewed.


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