Prediction in airway management: what is worthwhile, what is a waste of time and what about the future?

Teoh, W.H. & Kristensen, M.S. British Journal of Anaesthesia (2016) 117 (1): 1-3.

Nørskov and colleagues1 randomized Danish anaesthesia departments in two groups, in order to investigate the effect of a structured airway examination on the ability to predict difficult intubation by direct laryngoscopy. The departments either continued with the pre-anaesthetic airway evaluation that they were used to, or applied the structured evaluation that consisted of five parameters (mouth opening, thyromental distance, Mallampati classification, neck movement and ability to prognath) and two questions (weight, previous difficult intubation) that culminated in the calculation of the Simplified Airway Risk Index (SARI).2This study found that clinicians were able to predict between nine and 50% of the patients where intubation with direct laryngoscopy was or would have been difficult. This success-rate in prediction difficulty was NOT different between the departments that continued with business-as-usual, and the departments where the evaluation of the seven predictive parameters was implemented.

Read the abstract here

Read the cited Nørskov et al. article abstract here

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