Background and Goals:
Up to 7% of patients presenting for elective cervical spine surgery develop neurological complications, some of which may be related to airway management. Our aim was to study the incidence and severity of neurological complications in this type of surgery in our center and the potential relationship with airway management.
Retrospective observational study based on 59 cases, performed between january 2009 and august 2011 at the University Hospital of Navarra. We evaluated the preoperative airway assessment, intubation methods and problems, patient positioning, events during surgery, and in the first 24 hours and 1 month after it.
Most patients (69.4%) were intubated by direct laringoscopy. We found a statistically significant difference regarding intubation methods used by neuroanaesthesiologists (Chi-square, P < 0.033) but no difference in postoperative outcome/complications.
Conclusions and discussion:
We could not find any relationship between anesthetic management and outcome at 1 month post surgery. Specialised neuroanaesthesiologists are more careful regarding airway management and patient positioning, but they are also more exhaustive recording these data. These patients may not need specific airway management, although better recording may change our views in the future.
Calder I. Cervical spine disease and anaesthesia. Anaesth Intensive Care Med 2008, 227-230.Hindman BJ, et al. Cervical spinal cord, root, and bony spine injuries. A closed claim analysis. Anesthesiology 2011; 114:729-31.
© 2012 European Society of Anaesthesiology