Malignancies involving the upper and lower airways can be presented as acute and/or acute-on-chronic life-threatening emergencies. Most of them require intensive care unit (ICU) admission and acute intervention. Such emergencies include but are not exhaustive to epistaxis, massive hemoptysis, central airways obstruction, postobstructive pneumonia, tracheoesophageal fistula, and pleural disease. These are frequent consequences of disease, iatrogenicity, and various pleural diseases causing respiratory failure. The incidence, physiology, symptoms, and sequelae of each disease will be outlined in addition to potential surgical, pharmacologic, and conservative interventions. An anatomical approach from the upper airway, lower airway, mediastinum, and pleura will be taken. Here, we discuss interventions such as emergent cautery, nasal packing, emergent airways, and tracheostomy in addition to a brief glance at other surgical modalities. We will also detail central airway complications such as obstructing endobronchial tumors, massive hemoptysis, bronchoscopy, rigid bronchoscopy, stent placement, and other interventions (cautery, cryotherapy, one-way valves). Finally, pleural disorders such as tension pneumothorax, bronchopleural fistulas, massive pleural effusion, and hemothorax will be reviewed.
Part of the book: Oncology Critical Care