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Year : 2014  |  Volume : 58  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 416-422

Effect of rigid cervical collar on tracheal intubation using Airtraq®

Department of Anesthesiology, Nizam's Institute of Medical Sciences, Hyderabad, Telangana, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Padmaja Durga
Department of Anesthesiology, Nizam's Institute of Medical Sciences, Hyderabad, Telangana
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0019-5049.138976

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Background and Aims: Cervical spine immobilisation with rigid cervical collar imposes difficulty in intubation. Removal of the anterior part of the collar may jeopardize the safety of the cervical spine. The effect of restricted mouth opening and cervical spine immobilisation that result from the application of rigid cervical collar on intubation using Airtraq ® was evaluated. Methods: Seventy healthy adults with normal airways included in the study were intubated Using Airtraq® with (group C) and without rigid cervical collar (group NC). The ease of insertion of Airtraq ® into the oral cavity, intubation time, intubation difficulty score (IDS) were compared using Wilcoxon sign ranked test and McNemar test, using SPSS version 13. Results: Intubation using Airtraq ® was successful in the presence of the cervical collar in 96% which was comparable to group without collar (P = 0.24). The restriction of mouth opening resulted in mild difficulty in insertion of Airtraq ® . The median Likert scale for insertion was - 1 in the group C and + 1 in group NC (P < 0.001). The intubation time was longer in group C (30 ± 14.3 s vs. 26.9 ± 14.8 s) compared to group NC. The need for adjusting manoeuvres was 18.5% in group C versus 6.2% in group NC (P = 0.003) and bougie was required in 12 (18.5%) and 4 (6.2%) patients in group C and NC, respectively, to facilitate intubation (P = 0.02). The modified IDS score was higher in group C but there was no difference in the number of patients with IDS < 2. Conclusion: Tracheal intubation using Airtraq ® in the presence of rigid cervical collar has equivalent success rate, acceptable difficulty in insertion and mild increase in IDS.

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