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A team of anaesthetists at the Princess Alexandra Hospital have developed a world-first anaesthesia technique to make it safer for patients with obstructed airways to undergo surgery.
Dr Anton Booth, Dr Kim Vidhani, Dr Phillip Lee and Dr Claire-Mary Thomsett combined two relatively new techniques to enable surgeons to operate on patients who would previously have been deemed unsuitable due to their narrowed airways.
The team implemented a way to keep their patients breathing spontaneously during anaesthesia which involves adding high-flow nasal oxygen supply, previously used in intensive care and respiratory units. This combination has allowed anaesthetists to manage anaesthesia for patients with very challenging airway narrowing and has achieved quite spectacular improvements in oxygen levels while patients are in deep anaesthesia.
The technique, known as STRIVE Hi, was detailed in the British Journal of Anaesthesia.