Non-conventional uses of the Aintree Intubating Catheter in management of the difficult airway

T M Cook, C Seller, K Gupta, M Thornton, E O'Sullivan
Anaesthesia 2007, 62 (2): 169-74
We present 14 cases, of which three have been previously reported, in which non-conventional use was made of the Aintree Intubating Catheter (AIC). In seven cases the AIC was used via a ProSeal Laryngeal mask airway (PLMA). Two patients had anticipated difficult intubation, two unexpected difficult intubation and two required rescue of an obstructed airway prior to AIC-assisted intubation. In two cases of tracheal stenosis the AIC was used as a 'long narrow tracheal tube' during fibre-optic intubation: the AIC facilitated passage through the narrowed trachea and smooth railroading of a tracheal tube. In two cases the AIC was used in an awake patient. In three cases the AIC was used successfully despite gross laryngeal oedema. In three cases attempted AIC deployment failed: two patients had undergone radiotherapy to the mouth and PLMA placement failed; in the third, supraglottic oedema prevented visualisation of the larynx. The AIC via an LMA Classic was successful in one of these cases. In all cases where the larynx was visualised the AIC was rapidly successful without complications. In eight cases the anaesthetist had no experience of the technique outside workshops. These cases demonstrate general utility of the technique and successful use of the AIC via the PLMA, in awake patients, as an adjunct to fibre-optic intubation and in patients with an oedematous larynx. Finally, cases where the combination of the PLMA and AIC was unsuccessful demonstrate the technique, like many, is not always successful.

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