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Principles of Critical Care, 3e
Part IV. Pulmonary Disorders
Chapter 34. Upper Airway Obstruction
Brian Gehlbach, John K. Kress
upper airway obstruction.
There are few medical conditions that are as rapidly and predictably lethal as the loss of upper airway patency. Because of the relative infrequency with which upper airway obstruction (UAO) is encountered by most physicians, opportunities to acquire significant clinical experience are limited. This, combined with the frequently subtle presentation of upper airway obstruction and the clinician's inability to visualize the upper airway in its entire extent through routine physical examination, may hamper diagnosis of this condition until a crisis results. This chapter describes an approach to diagnosing and treating UAO as it presents in adults. While certain infections of the head, neck, and upper respiratory tract are considered here as they relate to UAO, the specific approach to their management is considered in greater detail in Chap. 54. A high index of suspicion for UAO, combined with early consultation of anesthesia and otolaryngology services, is critical to the successful management of this condition...."
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