After standard hip arthroplasty, an 82-year-old patient with previously undiagnosed diffuse idiopathic skeletal hyperostosis of the cervical spine experienced life-threatening side effects after use of a supraglottic airway device (i-gel). Extensive mucosal erosion and denudation of the cricoid cartilage caused postoperative supraglottic swelling and prolonged respiratory failure requiring tracheostomy. In this case report, we highlight the importance of evaluating risk factors for failure of supraglottic airway devices.
From the Departments of *Anesthesiology and Pain Therapy, †Orthopedic and Trauma Surgery, and ‡Otorhinolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery, Bern University Hospital and University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland.
Accepted for publication October 28, 2013.
Funding: No external funding.
The authors declare no conflicts of interest.
Address correspondence to Lorenz Theiler, MD, University Department of Anesthesiology and Pain Therapy, Bern University Hospital and University of Bern, Inselspital, CH-3010 Bern, Switzerland. Address e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.