Checking mask ventilation before neuromuscular block

The outdated and misguided notion of there being safety in checking mask ventilation before giving the muscle relaxant persists as shown in this Swedish survey.

“The most common reason for checking mask ventilation was “to gather information about the airway,” while the reason for not using was mostly “that muscle relaxation often improves mask ventilation.”

The latter has been shown to be the case. In any event the difficult airway is already lost after Propofol. Airway guidelines need to incorporate this knowledge in guidelines.

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