If the physical examination leaves in question the ability to ventilate and intubate once the patient is anesthetized and paralyzed, consideration should be given to awake intubation. Patients with a previous history of difficult intubation, acute processes that compromise the airway (e.g., soft-tissue infections of the head and neck, hematomas, mandibular fractures, or other significant facial deformities), morbid obesity, or cancer involving the larynx are reasonable candidates for awake intubation.
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