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notesairwayobstetrics ( ** )

Airway Management in Labor and Delivery

Airway management in obstetric anesthesia

• Labor and delivery are associated with significant airway changes, above and beyond the changes associated with pregnancy.
• Women in labor may be at increased risk of difficult intubation, particularly in the presence of other coexisting factors.
• The most likely cause of decreasing airway caliber in women undergoing labor and delivery is escalating soft tissue mucosal edema.
• There does not seem to be a correlation between airway changes and amount of fluids given during labor or duration of labor.
• It is imperative to examine the airway immediately before Cesarean section, rather than relying solely on information obtained from the pre-labor evaluation.
• There is a significant decrease in oral volume, pharyngeal volume, and mean pharyngeal area during and after labor and delivery.

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