Complications Of Endotracheal Intubation

Airway management is a fundamental aspect of anaesthetic practice and of emergency and critical care medicine. Endotracheal intubation (ETI) is a rapid, simple, safe and non surgical technique that achieves all the goals
of airway management, namely, maintains airway patency, protects the lungs from aspiration and permits leak free ventilation during mechanical ventilation, and remains the gold standard procedure for airway management.
There are also several alternatives to ETI, both for elective airway management as well as for emergency airway management when ETI is difficult or has failed. These devices include the laryngeal mask airway and the combitube. Both ETI and the use of the other airways are associated with complications, some of them life threatening.
It is essential for anaesthesiologists to be aware of these complications, and to have an effective strategy to prevent and manage these complications when they arise. A large number of complications have been described. It is beyond the scope of this article to deal with each in detail; emphasis
will be laid on the major, potentially life threatening and preventable complications.

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