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December 12, 1986

Difficulties in Tracheal Intubation

Author Affiliations

Northwestern University Medical School Columbus Hospital Chicago


edited by I. P. Latto and M. Rosen, 183 pp, with illus, $29.95, Philadelphia, Baillière Tindall Publishers, 1985.

JAMA. 1986;256(22):3161-3162. doi:10.1001/jama.1986.03380220127039

This article is only available in the PDF format. Download the PDF to view the article, as well as its associated figures and tables.


The consequences of not being able to ventilate and oxygenate a patient range from physician embarrassment to patient death or brain damage. Every experienced anesthesiologist, while acknowledged to be an expert in managing the airway, occassionally encounters a patient difficult or impossible to intubate. Promising an anesthesiologist to make difficult intubations easier is similar to letting the average person in on the secret of retiring wealthy at age 40. Is this book one that all intubators should be rushing to acquire for their libraries?

Produced by several anesthesiologists from the University Hospital of Wales, in Cardiff, this volume follows through on its title by exposing the many pitfalls associated with intubation, but, in my opinion, it falls short of helping to improve intubating skills. I would have appreciated more descriptions of "how to do it" from these experienced clinicians, in place of some of their digressions into techniques rarely used