Techniques and complications of awake fibre-optic intubation

A survey of Difficult Airway Society members sheds light on awake fibre optic intubation practices.

Most respondents (48%) had performed less than 5 within the last 2 years. Some (10%) had not performed any during this period.

Remifentanil was the most common sedative with local topicalisation and spray-as-you-go local anesthesia.

Complications did not differ between techniques, and included desaturation, multiple attempts or failed intubation.

The low numbers are a cause for concern in this still core technique and expert guidelines are awaited.

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