• Preparing to perform an awake fiberoptic intubation.

      Walsh, M E; Shorten, G D; Cork University Hospital and University College, Ireland. (2012-02-03)
      Fiberoptically guided tracheal intubation represents one of the most important advances in airway management to occur in the past thirty years. Perhaps its most important role is in management of the anticipated difficult airway. This is a situation in which the dangers of encountering the life-threatening "can't intubate, can't ventilate" situation can be avoided by placement of an endotracheal tube while the patient is awake. Although skill at the procedure of endoscopy is obviously necessary in this setting, these authors hold that success or failure of the technique frequently depends on the adequacy of preparation. These measures include 1) pre-operative assessment of the patient; 2) careful explanation of what lies in store; 3) "setting the stage"; 4) preparing the equipment to be used; and 5) preparing the patient (antisialogue, sedation, application of topical anesthesia to the upper airway). If these preparatory measures are carried out meticulously, the likelihood of performing a successful and comfortable awake fiberoptic tracheal intubation is greatly increased.