How can airway obstruction be examined?
Rose’s airway was examined to ensure there are no obstructions. Some of these include; foreign bodies, trauma, patient’s secretion, swelling of the tongue due to anaphylaxis and so on. Due to airway obstruction, a patient may present with paradoxical abdominal and chest movements as well using accessory muscles.
On examination, Rose was able to speak and answer questions with interruption of gasps and whistling sounds, referred to as wheezing, which indicated partial airway obstruction. Incomplete airway obstruction, the patient presents with no breath noises at their nose or mouth whereas, in partial airway obstruction, there are characteristics of diminished air entry, often accompanied by noises. Rose’s airway presentation is a strong indicator of airflow obstruction, resulting from the fact that the airways carrying oxygen to the lungs are narrowed making it difficult for the air to move freely, hence causing her symptoms such as wheezing, chest tightness, and dry cough. Patients with asthma tend to have extreme airway sensitivity and may overreact to triggers the like dust, pollen, and fumes. Airway obstruction must be treated as an emergency as if left untreated; it can lead to hypoxemia; leaving the patient at risk of hypoxic brain injury – lack of oxygen going to the brain and other organs such as the heart and kidneys.