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What are the main causes of airway obstruction?

What are the main causes of airway obstruction?

What causes an airway obstruction?

  • inhaling or swallowing a foreign object.
  • small object lodged in the nose or mouth.
  • allergic reaction.
  • trauma to the airway from an accident.
  • vocal cord issues.
  • breathing in a large amount of smoke from a fire.
  • viral infections.
  • bacterial infections.

What causes supraglottic swelling?

The differential diagnosis for supraglottic edema is very broad and includes infectious, autoimmune, allergic, vasculitic, and neoplastic processes. Acute infectious causes include acute bacterial epiglottitis and laryngotracheobronchitis that can be due to a variety of bacterial, fungal, and viral organisms.

What is supraglottic airway obstruction?

Supraglottic obstruction is a medical or surgical emergency. It can result in increased work of breathing and respiratory distress and can progress to fatal cardiopulmonary arrest.

What causes extrathoracic airway obstruction?

Variable extrathoracic obstructions may be caused by vocal cord paralysis, thyromegaly, tracheomalacia, or neoplasm while large airways variable intrathoracic obstructions can also result from tracheomalacia or neoplasm. Examples of fixed obstruction include tracheal stenosis, foreign body, or neoplasm.

What are the signs of airway obstruction?

What are the symptoms of airway obstruction?

  • choking or gagging.
  • sudden violent coughing.
  • vomiting.
  • noisy breathing or wheezing.
  • struggling to breathe.
  • turning blue.

What are the signs of complete airway obstruction?

Signs of choking (complete airway obstruction)

  • Can’t cry, talk, breathe, or cough.
  • May grasp throat.
  • May become severely anxious or agitated.
  • May turn blue or dusky in colour.
  • May pass out.

What is supraglottic swelling?

Adult supraglottitis is a serious and potentially life-threatening condition, characterised by inflammation of the supraglottic structures of the larynx, namely the arytenoids, the false vocal cords, the laryngeal ventricles, the aryepiglottic folds and the epiglottis.

How is laryngeal edema treated?

The preferential treatment of postextubation laryngeal edema consists of intravenous or nebulized corticosteroids combined with nebulized epinephrine, although no data on the optimal treatment algorithm are available. In the presence of respiratory failure, reintubation should be performed without delay.

When would you use a supraglottic airway?

Supraglottic airways (SGAs) are a group of airway devices that can be inserted into the pharynx to allow ventilation, oxygenation, and administration of anesthetic gases, without the need for endotracheal intubation.

What are signs of upper airway obstruction?


  • Agitation or fidgeting.
  • Bluish color to the skin (cyanosis)
  • Changes in consciousness.
  • Choking.
  • Confusion.
  • Difficulty breathing, gasping for air, leading to panic.
  • Unconsciousness.
  • Wheezing, crowing, whistling, or other unusual breathing noises indicating breathing difficulty.

How is an airway obstruction treated?

How Is an Airway Obstruction Treated?

  1. Oxygen.
  2. Intravenous (IV) fluids.
  3. Antibiotics.
  4. Other medicines.
  5. Endotracheal tube.
  6. Breathing machine.
  7. Airway surgery.

What causes the supraglottic airway to be blocked?

Chronic causes of supraglottic airway obstruction include laryngomalacia, tracheomalacia, laryngeal cysts, hemangiomas, obstructive sleep apnea, and progressive compression from masses. The obstruction presents as stridor, a harsh vibrating sound heard best during inspiration.

Why is supraglottic obstruction more common in children?

[13] [14] [15] [16] Supraglottic obstruction in pediatric patients is more common in children than in adults with a similar illness, and this is due to factors that make the pediatric airway more susceptible to airway obstruction and distress. The pediatric airway is narrower and more prone to obstruction.

How is anesthesia maintained during supraglottic intubation?

Anesthesia seems to be maintained often with a lighter depth during use of a supraglottic airway than during tracheal intubation, because the presence of a supraglottic airway does not usually induce airway reflexes.

Can a supraglottic airways be used as a rescue device?

Therefore, prediction methods to detect difficulty in the use of a supraglottic airway will be required to use it reliably as a rescue device in patients with difficult airways. There is no doubt that the supraglottic airways are now being used safely.