Appropriate Head Position for Nasotracheal Intubation by Using Lightwand Device (Trachlight)

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Abstract

The purpose of this study was to determine the relationship between the head position and the subsequent ease of nasotracheal intubation by using the lightwand device Trachlight (TL). Patients requiring nasotracheal intubation were subdivided into 3 groups according to the intubated head position (group S: sniffing position; group E: extension position; and group N: neutral position). The number of attempts, the total intubation time, and the failures of the TL intubation were recorded. Intubation difficulty by means of TL was assessed by the ordinal 6-point scale. Of the 300 patients enrolled in the study, TL intubation was successful in 91.3% of them. There was no significant difference in the success rate of the first attempt between the groups. No correlation between the ordinal scale and the head position was observed. The total intubation time and the ratio of “unsuccessful” cases were not significantly different among the 3 groups. TL is an effective alternative for patients who require nasotracheal intubation. Our study did not determine the most favorable head position for nasotracheal intubation with the TL, so we recommend that nasotracheal intubation with TL be started with the head in the neutral position and then changed to a more appropriate position, if necessary, on an individual basis.

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