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Endotracheal Intubation in a Down Syndrome Adult Undergoing Cataract Surgery – a Multidisciplinary Approach
The present case report aims to describe and discuss the approach for the management of difficult endotracheal intubation in an adult with Down syndrome undergoing cataract surgery. A 26-year-old female with Down syndrome and a validated diagnosis of cataract requiring surgery was examined in order to assess the degree of difficulty of endotracheal intubation. Patients with Down syndrome have characteristic craniofacial abnormalities which require a thorough pre-operative assessment to anticipate and prepare for a difficult endotracheal intubation. Before the surgery, a series of clinical and paraclinical examinations were conducted. Although cataract surgery generally requires loco-regional anesthesia, in our case it was performed under general anesthesia. Indicators of potentially difficult intubation were macroglossia, prognathism, short neck, limited degree of head extension and obesity. The pre-operative examinations, which revealed a high degree of endotracheal intubation, allowed the anesthetist to achieve a better peri- and intra-operative management of the patient.
Keywords: endotracheal intubation, Down syndrome, lateral cephalogram