Bypassing obstruction

Trauma, foreign bodies, laryngotracheal inflammation, acute anaphylaxis, and inhalation of hot gases, chemicals, smoke, or steam may produce sufficient damage or swelling of the airway to create airway obstruction. Commonly, acute dyspnea develops with inspiratory and expiratory wheezing, dysphonia, and dysphagia. Once 50 per cent of the laryngeal inlet is obstructed by edema, stridor develops. If stridor is present, intubation or placement of a surgical airway becomes urgent. In the presence of facial, circumferential neck, or full-thickness head burns, intubation is recommended before airway obstruction develops.

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