Blowing bubbles helps intubation (2017)

Type of publication:
Journal article

*Howe, D.

Indian Journal of Critical Care Medicine; Oct 2017; vol. 21 (no. 10); p. 710-711

Rocuronium is commonly used in preference to suxamethonium for rapid sequence induction in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU). We describe a patient who suffered significant neck trauma following a suicide attempt. On initial presentation to accident and emergency, he was an easy intubation with a Grade 1 view obtained at laryngoscopy. After surgery to repair his neck laceration, he was extubated and discharged from ICU. He later developed a severe aspiration pneumonia and required reintubation. After induction and paralysis with suxamethonium, the best view at laryngoscopy was a Grade 3 despite the use of different laryngoscopes. As the muscle paralysis wore off the patient began breathing. This produced bubbles in the back of the patient's pharynx which directed the clinician to the laryngeal inlet to allow successful intubation. In this case, the short duration of action of suxamethonium significantly aided intubation due to the return of spontaneous breathing by the patient.

Link to full-text [no password required]