1C, 2A01, 3A01

Key points

  • Airway obstruction in the postoperative period is associated with a high incidence of morbidity.

  • A strategy on how to manage the difficult airway after surgery should be agreed by the multidisciplinary team.

  • The Difficult Airway Society extubation guidelines should be followed for ‘at risk’ patients, with the consideration of advanced extubation techniques.

  • Patients at risk of deterioration should be observed and monitored closely after surgery for signs and symptoms of airway compromize and the need for re-intubation.

  • If there is significant concern about the patency of the airway then the patient should either remain intubated or have a tracheostomy.

In recent years, there have been major advances in airway management, including the development of intubation guidelines and recognition...

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