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Anales del Sistema Sanitario de Navarra

Print version ISSN 1137-6627


MATEOS RODRIGUEZ, A.A. et al. Validity of airway predictors in outpatient medicine. Anales Sis San Navarra [online]. 2014, vol.37, n.1, pp.91-98. ISSN 1137-6627.

Isolation of the airway sometimes determines the survival or death of the patient. To anticipate the presence of a difficult airway (DA) there are a number of indicators that are validated for hospitals: Mallampati, sternum and thyromental distance, interdental distance and Cormack grade. The aim of this study is to evaluate the use of these indicators in the ambulatory setting and to know the incidence of DA. This data was collected from 324 intubations. Most patients were males (65.2%). The average age of the population was 63 years and no significant difference in age between DA and DA was found. A DA presence of 20.7% was objectified and an alternative device utilization of 21.4%. The thyromental distance was abnormal in 59% of patients and sternomentonal distance in 56.4% but neither showed an association with the presence of DA (p = 0.681 and p = 0.415 respectively). Interdental distance was less than 3 cm if presence is associated with DA (p = 0.005). The sensitivity and specificity of all measures are low. According to our series the sternum and thyromental distance are not useful in the ambulatory setting, but interdental distance is useful for predicting a DA.

Keywords : Orotraqueal intubation; Difficult airway; Emergency medical services.

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