If an anesthesiologist has a defining skill it is airway management. Intubation, the ability to obtain and manage a patient's oxygenation and ventilation is at the core of all life saving techniques and our training allows us to be experts in this arena.
One of the most challenging aspects of Rotaplast is encountering patients with anatomy that makes intubation difficult or impossible. Additionally, it is impractical to carry along fiber optic equipment or other methods of indirect laryngoscopy that would aid in intubation. For these reasons the Rotaplast experience is an excellent measure of our training and ingenuity.
On our second day of operating we encountered a four year old child with an as of yet undefined syndrome that included facial features predictive of difficult intubation. The rarity of his condition was the subject of a previous blog post. He had a very small chin but more interesting, a limited mouth opening because of tissue bands that tethered his lower and upper jaws together. Working with Dr. Fleming to intubate the patient was both nerve racking and exciting. The obscurity of the child's syndrome along with the anesthetic/airway management makes this case particularly valuable from an academic perspective.
I intend to present this patient at WARC. This is a yearly conference where anesthesia programs present research, new technologies, and interesting cases to each other with the goal of improving anesthetic practice and patient satisfaction. I am very grateful for being allowed the opportunity to serve and learn from this trip and I am sure that it won't be my last experience with Rotaplast.
Dr. Katie Strohmeyer, Anesthesiologist Resident