A brief history of upper airway management

      Prior to general anaesthesia upper airway obstruction only occurred with infections (in particular diphtheria) and trauma. Sir William MacEwen and Joseph O’Dwyer showed how to manage diphtherial upper airway obstruction with blind digital oral endotracheal intubation in the 1880s. Following World War 1 Magill and Rowbotham developed visual endotracheal intubation for anaesthesia for the repair of facial injuries sustained in the trenches (Queens Hospital, Sidcup, UK).
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