Wristbands use to identify adult patients with difficult airway: a scoping review
Difficult airway is a clinical situation in which a trained anesthesiologist experiences trouble with facemask ventilation and/or laryngoscopy and/or intubation. Poor identification of at-risk patients has been identified as one of the causes of difficult airway management.
We aimed to review the literature regarding the use of wristbands to identify adult patients with known or predicted difficult airway in hospitals.
We searched Web of Science (WoS), Scopus, MEDLINE and OVID following the stages described by the PRISMA Extension for Scoping Reviews (PRISMA-ScR). We used a combination of MeSH terms and non-controlled vocabulary regarding the use of difficult airway wristbands in adults. Three researchers independently reviewed the full texts and selected the papers to be included based on the inclusion criteria.
Our search generated 334 articles after removing duplicates. After reviewing full text articles, only seven studies were included. Here we found that most were from the United States, in which the authors report the use of in-patients’ wristbands in adults. According to the authors, the use of wristbands is being implemented as a measure of improved quality and safety of in-patients with difficult airway either known or suspected.
The identification with wristbands of a difficult airway at an appropriate time is an identification strategy can have a low cost but a high impact on morbidity. It is pertinent to develop a methodology such as the use of wristbands, that allows a good classification and identification of patients with difficult airway in hospitals from Latin America.