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Online ISSN 1827-1596
Frova G. 1, Sorbello M. 2
1 S. Raffaele University of Milan, Milan, Italy;
2 Anesthesia and Intensive Care, University Hospital Polyclinic, Catania, Italy
Difficult airway management and maintenance of oxygenation remain the two most challenging tasks for anesthetists, while also being controversial items in terms of clinically based-evidence to support relevant guidelines in the literature. Nevertheless, different expert groups and scientific societies from several countries have published guidelines dedicated to the management of difficult airways. These documents have been demonstrated to be useful in reducing airway management related critical accidents, despite their limited use in litigations and legal issues. The aim of this review is to compare different airway management guidelines published by the United States, United Kingdom, France, Italy, Germany, and Canada while trying to elucidate the main differences, weaknesses, and strengths for identifying critical concepts in the management of difficult airways.