Awake fibreoptic intubation is a useful technique where difficult intubation is anticipated on the basis of airway examination or previous anaesthesia. Intubating fibrescopes are not universally available, but are increasingly found in resource poor settings as donated equipment. The indications, contraindications, equipment and preparation required for awake fibreoptic intubation are discussed. Sedation is desirable although not essential and the drugs used to achieve this depend largely on availability. Adequate anaesthesia of the airway is essential for a safe successful procedure and we describe our preferred technique along with alternatives.
Sarah Barnett, Irene Bouras, Simon Clarke