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Br J Anaesth. 1990 Dec;65(6):813-5.

Factor analysis in patients with a history of failed tracheal intubation during pregnancy.

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Arrowe Park Hospital, Upton, Merseyside.


Eight patients with a history of failed tracheal intubation during pregnancy were investigated by x-ray laryngoscopy after delivery. Partial elevation of the epiglottis with no view of glottic structures was found in five patients who were therefore considered to still present difficulty. In each of these five patients the blade tip failed to make contact with the hyoid and in four this was explained by the tongue being compressed into a pear shape such that it prevented sight of the larynx. Relatively few abnormal anatomical indices were seen in these patients and this was in keeping with the level of difficulty encountered. An angular measure of jaw protrusion from a line joining the upper incisors and a point just above and anterior to the vocal cords, to the mid-point on the inner surface of the mandible was useful: the lower angle of this triangle was as important as the angle at the incisors.

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