Difficult Airway in Obstetric Anesthesia: A Review

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Failed intubation and ventilation are important causes of anesthetic-related maternal mortality. The purpose of this article is to review the complex issues in managing the difficult airway in obstetric patients. The importance of prompt and competent decision making in managing difficult airways, as well as a need for appropriate equipment is emphasized. Four case reports reinforce the importance of a systematic approach to management. The overall preference for regional rather than general anesthesia is strongly encouraged. The review also emphasizes the need for professional and experienced team cooperation between the obstetrician and the anesthesiologist for the successful management of these challenging cases.Target Audience: Obstetricians & Gynecologists, Family PhysiciansLearning Objectives: After completion of this article, the reader will be able to break down the complex issues in managing the difficult airway in the obstetric patient, outline the reasons for difficult intubations in pregnancy, and describe the evaluation used to predict a difficult intubation.

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