Hemorrhage into the upper airway can be a challenge to manage successfully.


Example: post-tonsillectomy hemorrhage


Potential complications:

(1) airway obstruction from blood and blood clots

(2) aspiration

(3) exsanguinations

(4) permanent brain damage


High-risk situations:

(1) patient with a difficult airway

(2) massive bleeding

(3) panic or inexperience by caregivers

(4) shock



(1) Do not wait and expect that the bleeding will stop on its own.

(2) Establish an airway as quickly as possible, with emergent tracheostomy or cricothyroidotomy if intubation fails.

(3) Replace blood loss appropriately.


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