The safety of outpatient direct laryngoscopy has recently been challenged in the literature. We reviewed the first 589 direct laryngoscopies performed at a new outpatient surgery center. There were nine unplanned admissions to the hospital, including five airway emergencies that developed within the first 30 min after extubation. Three patients required reintubation before leaving the operating room. On postoperative telephone follow-up, 9% complained of mild to moderate sore throat. There were no major complications after discharge. We conclude that the risk of airway emergencies after direct laryngoscopy is less than 1% in carefully selected patients. The procedure can be safely performed as an outpatient procedure as long as transportation to a hospital is readily available for the few patients in whom complications arise.
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