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Body piercing and airway management: photo guide to tongue jewelry removal techniques

Body piercing and airway management: photo guide to tongue jewelry removal techniques

Aana Journal 76(1): 19-23

Body modification has been practiced in cultures around the world for thousands of years. The ramifications of body piercing on anesthesia practice and airway management have become more evident in recent years. This article reviews the techniques for removal of tongue jewelry and options for maintaining oral piercing patency. To remove or not to remove...that is the question. In the emergency medicine and anesthesia literature, there are arguments both for and against the routine removal of oral jewelry for intubation. Some practitioners feel that if people can eat, drink, talk, and sleep with the jewelry in place, they probably can be intubated safely without removing it. Most case reports present the opinion that tongue jewelry should be removed before oral intubation to minimize jewelry aspiration, bleeding, and medical-legal risks to the anesthetist. This article's focus is to illustrate suggested tongue jewelry removal techniques for awake and unconscious patients from the health practitioner's and body piercer's perspectives.

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Accession: 051841282

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PMID: 18323315

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