One of the more frightening events in anesthesia is laryngospasm – the protective, reflex, spasmodic closure of the vocal cords that occurs when the vocal cords are stimulated. When laryngospasm occurs, vocal cord closure can be so forceful that it can prevent all ventilation or even the passage of the endotracheal tube. Life-threatening hypoxia can quickly follow. Other potential complications include post obstructive pulmonary edema, and possibly even cardiac arrest. This post discusses the different muscle actions that combine to make laryngospasm create dangerous airway obstruction.
The longer I do anesthesia, the more I realize that not knowing the details about the surgeries that I see every day can cause unexpected problems with the anesthesia. Removal of the hyoid as part of a thyroglossal duct cyst excision, normally innocuous, can rarely cause severe postoperative airway obstruction.
Given the difficulty of working with a volunteer team in the developing world, how do we take strangers and quickly transform them into a cohesive, well-functioning team in a difficult environment? Let’s look at some of the tools we use.
While power failures in hospitals in the United States are thankfully rare, they do happen. This discussion offers tips on dealing with power failure in the OR while working in the developing world.
The need to change a tank in the middle of the case can happen anywhere to anyone. But if you´re prepared, it will go smoothly and your patient will remain safe.