Letter to the Editor  |   November 2013
Let’s Not Forget Who Brought Us To The Dance
Author Affiliations
  • James M. Gayes, M.D.
    Minneapolis, Minnesota
Article Information
Letter to the Editor
Letter to the Editor   |   November 2013
Let’s Not Forget Who Brought Us To The Dance
ASA Monitor 11 2013, Vol.77, 60.
ASA Monitor 11 2013, Vol.77, 60.
The September 2013 issue of the ASA NEWSLETTERis a useful compendium on airway management. Nevertheless, while I read each article, I am surprised by the omission of a strategic aspect in the care of these patients: the emphasis on proper head position. Other articles reviewing airway management similarly concentrate on the description of intubation devices, yet overlook the advantages of proper head position in airway management.
Airway management is a major responsibility for the anesthesiologist and practice guidelines systematically develop recommendations that assist the practitioner in making health care decisions. Since the early “Practice Guidelines for Management of the Difficult Airway,” adopted by ASA in 1992 and 2003, the addition of the 2013 revision provides a wider range of management techniques.1 -3  Emergency room and intensive care units also have difficult airway algorithms, but they emphasize the merit of calling for early assistance and underscore the value of proper head position prior to ventilation and intubation.4,5  However, the NEWSLETTER articles, like the ASA Difficult Airway Algorithm, do not rigorously address the benefit of optimal head position during airway management.
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