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Airway Management
Airway Management

Assessing Airway Patency



    • How to Assess

    • If the patient is talking then this suggests that their airway is patent (however, this is not always the case)
    • Look, listen and feel for movement of air
    • Stridor (musical, high-pitched sounds) suggests upper airway obstruction
    • Snoring is a sign of airway compromise
    • Paradoxical abdominal movement is a sign
    • Causes of Upper Airway Obstruction

    • Soft tissue swelling - anaphylaxis, burns, peritonsillar abscess, epiglottitis, laryngotracheobronchitis (croup)
    • Foreign body aspiration
    • Deformity - laryngomalacia, laryngeal mass / web, tracheomalacia
    • Tongue enlargement / displacement
    • Vocal cord lesion / paralysis
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