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Year : 2021  |  Volume : 4  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 85-89

Evaluation of difficult airway in trauma patients from lateral cervical radiographs

1 Department of Emergency Medicine, Ataturk State Hospital, Antalya, Turkey
2 Department of Emergency Medicine, Antalya Training and Research Hospital, Health Science University, Antalya, Turkey
3 Department of Emergency Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Akdeniz University, Antalya, Turkey

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Cihan Bedel
Department of Emergency Medicine, Antalya Training and Research Hospital, Health Science University, Kazım Karabekir Street, Postal Zip Code: 07100, Muratpaşa, Antalya
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/arwy.arwy_20_21

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Background: Many tests have been developed that are used either singly or in combination to identify a difficult airway. However, airway patency may not be adequately evaluated in some patients despite these tests. Lateral cervical radiography can be an auxiliary technique to evaluate difficult airway in patients of trauma due to its bedside applicability, cost-efficiency and rapidity. The aim of this study was to investigate the usefulness of lateral cervical radiographic measurements in predicting difficult laryngoscopy in trauma patients. Patients and Methods: The study consisted of patients of trauma who were admitted to the emergency department between July 2017 and March 2018. All patients underwent bedside cervical radiography and seven measurements were obtained. The anterior and posterior mandibular depths, effective mandibular length, atlanto-occipital distance, mandibulohyoid distance, thyromental distance and distance between the superior temporomandibular joint and the inferior edge of the fourth cervical vertebra (C4) were measured on the radiographs. Patients were divided into two groups as difficult and easy laryngoscopy groups, and the parameters were compared between the groups. Results: A total of 97 patients were included in our study. Of these patients, 54 (55.6%) were in the difficult laryngoscopy group, while 43 (44.4%) were in the easy laryngoscopy group. The interincisor, hyomental and thyrohyoid distances were significantly lower in the difficult laryngoscopy group compared to the easy laryngoscopy group. Conclusion: Bedside lateral cervical radiography is not a useful imaging method to demonstrate difficulty in laryngoscopy in patients of trauma.

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