Difficult mask ventilation.

Department of Anesthesiology-West, Medical College of Wisconsin, Froedtert Memorial Lutheran Hospital, 9200 W Wisconsin Ave., Milwaukee, WI 53226, USA.
Anesthesia and analgesia (Impact Factor: 3.42). 12/2009; 109(6):1870-80. DOI: 10.1213/ANE.0b013e3181b5881c
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Mask ventilation is the most fundamental skill in airway management. In this review, we summarize the current knowledge about difficult mask ventilation (DMV) situations. Various definitions for DMV have been used in the literature. The lack of a precise standard definition creates a problem for studies on DMV and causes confusion in data communication and comparisons. DMV develops because of multiple factors that are technique related and/or airway related. Frequently, the pathogenesis involves a combination of these factors interacting to cause the final clinical picture. The reported incidence of DMV varies widely (from 0.08% to 15%) depending on the criteria used for its definition. Obesity, age older than 55 yr, history of snoring, lack of teeth, the presence of a beard, Mallampati Class III or IV, and abnormal mandibular protrusion test are all independent predictors of DMV. These signs should, therefore, be recognized and documented during the preoperative evaluation. DMV can be even more challenging in infants and children, because they develop hypoxemia much faster than adults. Finally, difficult tracheal intubation is more frequent in patients who experience DMV, and thus, clinicians should be familiar with the corrective measures and management options when faced with a challenging, difficult, or impossible mask ventilation situation.

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    ABSTRACT: Background: There are few predictors of difficult mask ventilation and a simple, objective, predictive system to identify patients at risk of difficult mask ventilation does not currently exist. We present a retrospective - subgroup analysis aimed at identifying predictive factors for difficult mask ventilation (DMV) in patients undergoing pre-operative airway assessment before elective surgery at a major teaching hospital. Methods: Data for this retrospective analysis were derived from a database of airway assessments, management plans, and outcomes that were collected prospectively from August 2008 to May 2010 at a Level 1 academic trauma center. Patients were stratified into two groups based on the difficulty of mask ventilation and the cohorts were analyzed using univariate analysis and stepwise selection method. Results: A total of 1399 pre-operative assessments were completed with documentation stating that mask ventilation was attempted. Of those 1399, 124 (8.9%) patients were found to be difficult to mask ventilate. A comparison of patients with and without difficult mask ventilation identified seven risk factors for DMV: age, body mass index (BMI), neck circumference, history of difficult intubation, presence of facial hair, perceived short neck and obstructive sleep apnea. Although seven risk factors were identified, no individual subject had more than four risk factors. Conclusion: The results of this study confirm that in a real world clinical setting, the incidence of DMV is not negligible and suggest the use of a simple bedside predictive score to improve the accuracy of DMV prediction, thereby improving patient safety. Further prospective studies to validate this score would be useful.
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