Abstract and Introduction
Background: Endotracheal intubation requires optimum position of the head and neck. In obese females, the usual ramped position might not provide adequate intubating conditions. We hypothesized that a new position, termed modified-ramped position, during induction of anesthesia would facilitate endotracheal intubation through bringing the breasts away from the laryngoscope and would also improve the laryngeal visualization.
Methods: Sixty obese female patients scheduled for general anesthesia were randomly assigned into either ramped or modified-ramped position during induction of anesthesia. In the ramped position (n = 30), the patient head and shoulders were elevated to achieve alignment of the sternal notch and the external auditory meatus; while in the modified-ramped position (n = 30), the patient shoulders were elevated using a special pillow, and the head was extended to the most possible range. Our primary outcome was the incidence of failed laryngoscopic insertion in the oral cavity (the need for patient repositioning). Other outcomes included time till vocal cord visualization, time till successful endotracheal intubation, difficulty of the mask ventilation, and Cormack-Lehane grade for laryngeal view.
Results: Fourteen patients (47%) in ramped group required repositioning to facilitate introduction of the laryngoscope in the oral cavity in comparison to one patient (3%) in the modified-ramped position (p < 0.001). Modified-ramped position showed lower incidence of difficult mask ventilation, shorter time for glottic visualization, and shorter time for endotracheal tube insertion compared to the ramped position. The Cormack-Lehane grade was better in the modified-ramped position.
Conclusion: Modified-ramped position provided better intubating conditions, improved the laryngeal view, and eliminated the need for repositioning of obese female patients during insertion of the laryngoscope compared to ramped position.
Clinical trial registration: Identifier: NCT03640442. Date: August 2018.
BMC Anesthesiol. 2020;20(151) © 2020 BioMed Central, Ltd.