Maintenance of the Airway
The responsibility of the anaesthetist is to keep the patient alive and free of pain during surgery. The success, however, largely depends on the ability to maintain the airway with adequate gas exchange during anaesthesia. The anatomical airway lies between the lips and nostrils and the alveoli of the lungs. (During anaesthesia it lies between the source of fresh air or gas and the alveoli.) It is important to know all the possible sources of obstruction and to have the qualification to master them. The prevention of respiratory obstruction begins with pre-operative examination (see Chap. 3) and the preparation of all the necessary technical equipment. Obstruction of the airway will, after a short time, lead to asphyxia and the condition will deteriorate rapidly and finally to cardiac arrest (see Figs. 5.1 and 5.2). Never put a patient to sleep when you are not absolutely sure you can maintain the airway.
KeywordsEndotracheal Tube Technical Equipment Oral Intubation Nasal Intubation Respiratory Obstruction
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