Management of Refractory Laryngospasm

Amy L. Rutt, Elird Bojaxhi, Klaus D. Torp

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Laryngospasm has been well described in patients emerging from general anesthesia (GA) and is routinely managed with intermittent positive-pressure mask ventilation, a temporary increase in the depth of anesthesia, or small, titrated amounts of succinylcholine. Patients with severe laryngospasm require reintubation to maintain adequate oxygenation and ventilation. However, reintubation may be only a temporary solution because laryngospasm may recur during re-emergence and re-extubation; thus, anesthesiologists need a comprehensive plan that addresses potential causes of laryngospasm and incorporates continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) for patients with difficulty emerging from GA. Transnasal humidified rapid-insufflation ventilatory exchange (THRIVE) is a noninvasive ventilation and oxygenation technique used to provide apneic oxygenation, which also generates CPAP. THRIVE uses a high-flow nasal cannula and is more easily tolerated than CPAP with a tight-fitting mask. To our knowledge, we present the first case of refractory laryngospasm during emergence from GA that was successfully managed with THRIVE.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)633-635
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of Voice
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2021


  • Airway
  • General anesthesia
  • High-flow nasal cannula
  • Laryngospasm
  • Oxygenation
  • Transnasal humidified rapid-insufflation ventilatory exchange

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology
  • LPN and LVN
  • Speech and Hearing


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