Pulmonary aspiration in the perioperative period is one of the well-known complications under anesthesia and procedural sedation. A full stomach condition either due to non-adherence to fasting guidelines or due to various other factors that delay gastric emptying are the most common causes. Following aspiration, a patient may develop a wide spectrum of clinical sequelae. The key factors in preventing aspiration include proper pre-operative assessment, appropriate premedication and operating room preparations. Rapid sequence induction and intubation is the recommended technique for securing the airway in cases of full stomach. Management of aspiration depends on the nature of the aspirate. Pre-operative fasting guidelines have been established by various medical societies which may be modified in special circumstances of high risk of aspiration. Prediction of difficult airway in certain cases of full stomach necessitates clinical expertise in airway management.
Part of the book: Special Considerations in Human Airway Management