The presences of fractures that compromise the midface and inferior thirds of the face either hurdle or impede the use of conventional methods of endotracheal intubation. The airway is traditionally protected by means of tracheostomy and cricothyroidotomy, techniques that are frequently associated with significant morbidity. Sub-mental intubation is a widely accepted option to attend a number or surgery situations, maxillary trauma being one of them.
Objective: Present our experience as well as the results of a bibliographic revision about the use of the sub-mental intubation technique in the airway management of maxillofacial trauma patients.
Method: From September 2009 to February 2011, four maxillofacial trauma patients were submitted to surgery under general anesthesia and sub-mental intubation was used. The clinical record of each patient was studied and a bibliographic revision was carried out.
Results: The use of submental intubation permitted a simultaneous reduction and fixation of all fractures as well as intraoperative control of the dental occlusion without interference from the tube during the operation. There were no peri-opertative complications.
Conclusions: Submental intubation is a simple and rapid technique for the attention of maxillofacial fractures. It has shown low morbidity associated to its use in maxillary trauma operations. It may be used as an alternative to temporal tracheostomy when conventional methods of endotracheal intubation cannot be utilized. However, it should not be considered as a routine procedure in primary service attention of poly-traumatised patients.
Conflict of interest: None declared.