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Br J Anaesth. 1986 May;58(5):498-501.

Emergency intubation of the trachea facilitated by suxamethonium. Observations in obstetric and general surgical patients.


The relationship between the time of onset of neuromuscular blockade and the time at which laryngoscopy was attempted was studied in patients presenting for emergency obstetric or emergency general surgical procedures. "Train-of-four" stimulation and visual observation of the evoked twitch response in the hand were used as a measure of the degree of neuromuscular blockade. The attendant anaesthetist was unaware of the response to the peripheral nerve stimulator. Intubation preceded complete neuromuscular blockade; in the obstetric patients there was no correlation between the two times. The use of a peripheral nerve stimulator should allow the anaesthetist to perform intubation in emergency situations with a greater degree of safety.

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