Emergent airway management in a patient with
Saudi J Anaesth
The prevalence of in situ tracheal stents has increased in the past two decades for the management of malignant and benign central airway diseases for either palliation or definitive therapy. Recent placement of a tracheal stent has been associated with edema of the upper airway; therefore, these patients are at a great risk for airway collapse, especially within the days most recent to the procedure. The authors present the case of a morbidly obese patient with a tracheal stent admitted to the Intensive Care Unit who developed acute respiratory failure and was found to be "unable to ventilate, unable to intubate." Surgical airway approach through a cricothyroidotomy failed to provide a patent airway and the patient subsequently developed cardiac arrest and expired. The presence of tracheal stent poses a high challenge during emergent airway interventions; thus, carefully planned airway manipulation in such patients is paramount in order to avoid catastrophic outcomes.