Previous article Table of Contents  Next article

Year : 2011  |  Volume : 5  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 440-441

Tracheal intubation with nasal speculum in situ

Department of Neuroanaesthesiology, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India

Correspondence Address:
Girija Prasad Rath
Department of Neuroanaesthesiology, Neurosciences Center, 6th Floor/Room No. 9, A.I.I.M.S., New Delhi - 110 029
Login to access the Email id

Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/1658-354X.87280

Rights and Permissions
Date of Web Publication8-Nov-2011

How to cite this article:
Jain V, Sokhal N, Rath GP, Goyal K. Tracheal intubation with nasal speculum in situ. Saudi J Anaesth 2011;5:440-1

How to cite this URL:
Jain V, Sokhal N, Rath GP, Goyal K. Tracheal intubation with nasal speculum in situ. Saudi J Anaesth [serial online] 2011 [cited 2022 Nov 28];5:440-1. Available from:


The fundamental responsibility of an anesthesiologist is to ensure uninterrupted ventilation and oxygenation with a patent airway. [1] Incidence of difficult mask ventilation varies from 0.15% to 5%. [2] Here, we share our experience with an unusual scenario of impossible mask ventilation and an impending difficult intubation. A 45-year-old woman weighing 84 kg (body mass index (BMI): 28.7 kg/m 2 ) was admitted to a private hospital with complaints of headache and blurred vision for 4 months. She was a known case of hypertension on amlodipine 5 mg for the previous 5 years, and diabetes mellitus on insulin since 1 year. A magnetic resonance image of brain showed dumbbell-shaped mass lesion arising from sella and extending into the suprasellar cistern and third ventricle, causing compression of optic tract and chiasma. She was diagnosed as a case of pituitary macroadenoma and transnasal transsphenoidal surgery was planned under general anesthesia. There was profuse nasal bleeding during the surgical procedure, after insertion of nasal speculum. Hence, the attending neurosurgeon abandoned the procedure. The speculum was left in situ along with additional nasal packing [Figure 1]a to prevent further bleeding, and trachea was extubated after reversal of residual neuromuscular blockade. Other details of the anesthetic course were unavailable. The patient was later referred to our hospital from a distance of 300 km. Investigations revealed a drop in hemoglobin concentration from initial 12.4 to 9.6 gm/dL. Rest of the investigations was normal. Digital subtraction angiography carried out under monitored anesthesia care showed no active bleeding from the surgical site and the patient was planned for excision of the tumor and removal of speculum. Intramuscular glycopyrrolate 0.2 mg was premedicated 45 min before induction of anesthesia. In the operating room, the patient was assessed to be dehydrated, anxious, and irritable with a heart rate and blood pressure of 98 beats/min and 156/84 mmHg, respectively. She had anticipated difficult mask ventilation owing to the presence of nasal speculum along with BMI > 26 kg/m 2 and an edentulous airway. [2] Moreover, there was likelihood of obstruction to the laryngoscope blade during direct laryngoscopy. Hence, the patient was counseled for awake fiberoptic intubation and fentanyl 25 mg was given intravenously. The airway was anesthetized with bilateral superior laryngeal nerve block; transtracheal block with lignocaine 2%. Later, three puffs of lignocaine 10% were sprayed at the postpharyngeal wall. Fiberoptic bronchoscopy was performed and trachea was intubated with 7.0 cuffed endotracheal tube [Figure 1]b. After confirming tube position, the patient was anesthetized with intravenous propofol and fentanyl and was paralyzed with rocuronium. Anesthesia was maintained with O 2 , N 2 O, sevoflurane, and rocuronium. Blood loss, occurred mainly during speculum readjustment and nasal pack removal, was 800 mL, which was adequately replaced with crystalloids and blood. The possible reason for nasal bleeding was incorrect selection of nostril with wrong plane of advancement by the neurosurgeon, during first surgery. At the end of the procedure, neuromuscular blockade was reversed and trachea extubated [Figure 1]c when the patient became fully awake. In this case, we had two options to secure the airway: (a) awake fiberoptic intubation or (b) securing airway with a laryngeal mask airway after intravenous induction with anesthesia. The former was chosen owing to the risk of "losing the airway" once anesthesia was induced. [1] Although fiberoptic bronchoscopy helped us to secure the airway, a difficult airway cart was kept ready to prevent any untoward event. Fiberoptic intubation is the technique of choice in managing difficult airways. [3] This report re-emphasizes its importance as the "first choice tool" in critical situations where mask ventilation might be difficult.
Figure 1: (a) Nasal speculum (in situ) placed in left nostril, (b) intubated patient, and (c) postoperative patient

Click here to view

  References Top

1.Benumof JL. Management of the difficult adult airway. With special emphasis on awake tracheal intubation. Anesthesiology 1991;75:1087-110.  Back to cited text no. 1
2.Langeron O, Masso E, Huraux C, Guggiari M, Bianchi A, Coriat P, et al. Prediction of difficult mask ventilation. Anesthesiology 2000;92:1229-236.  Back to cited text no. 2
3.Ovassapian A. The flexible bronchoscope. A tool for anesthesiologists. Clin Chest Med 2001;22:281-99.  Back to cited text no. 3


  [Figure 1]


Previous article    Next article
    Similar in PUBMED
   Search Pubmed for
   Search in Google Scholar for
    Access Statistics
    Email Alert *
    Add to My List *
* Registration required (free)  

  IN THIS Article
   Article Figures

 Article Access Statistics
    PDF Downloaded171    
    Comments [Add]    

Recommend this journal