Home Insect Allergies Pediatric Intubation: Attaining a Good Consequence 

Pediatric Intubation: Attaining a Good Consequence 


Prematurity and immature growth of the pulmonary system, extreme sickness, trauma, overdose, aspiration, and different cardiopulmonary situations name for defense of the airway and institution of a protected and safe means to ventilate.

By Invoice Pruitt, MBA, RRT, CPFT, FAARC

Intubation is required when respiratory failure has occurred or is anticipated to happen. Prematurity and immature growth of the pulmonary system, extreme sickness, trauma, overdose, aspiration, drowning, and congenital anomalies within the cardiopulmonary system, name for defense of the airway and institution of a protected and safe means to ventilate. Reintubation could also be wanted in circumstances the place the endotracheal tube (ETT) has been by chance eliminated or dislodged. Intubation within the neonatal and pediatric populations requires particular abilities and a stable understanding of the anatomy. This text will take a look at greatest practices and particular concerns for intubation in neonatal and pediatric sufferers. 

Overview of the Anatomy and Physiology

Infants and youngsters endure modifications within the anatomy as they develop, with the variations most pronounced beneath 2 years of age. Between 2 and eight years outdated the airway is in transition, and by age 8 the anatomy is akin to a small grownup.1 Youngsters have a number of distinctions within the airway anatomy together with a bigger tongue, a bigger and floppy epiglottis, a slim cricoid ring, and a better and extra anterior glottic opening. At infancy, the glottis is positioned at C1, transferring downward to C3-C5 round age 7, and at last reaching C4-C6.1 The trachea is shorter, extra slim, and extra compliant.2 From delivery to about 2 years outdated there’s much less management of respiration, inefficient use of the muscle groups of air flow, completely different airway and lung mechanics, and a better basal metabolic fee (rising the danger of speedy desaturation throughout intubation). These components lead to greater threat of cardiorespiratory failure, which is much more pronounced throughout an intubation process in neonatal and pediatric sufferers. The whole lung capability (TLC) and useful residual capability (FRC) is decrease, and the thorax is extra compliant whereas the lungs are much less compliant. These points result in elevated tendency for airtrapping and early closure of the terminal airways.2  

Making ready for Intubation

Coaching for neonatal/pediatric intubation might be accomplished utilizing simulation to permit for a managed, protected setting, present time for the workforce to enhance communication, apply utilizing completely different aids to intubation, and work by means of completely different situations to arrange for altering situations or particular circumstances. Having an intubation guidelines has confirmed to be very useful to make sure all of the tools is accessible and functioning, acceptable drugs and respective dosages have been reviewed and ready, and the intubation workforce is primed and prepared for the process. Pattern checklists are available, and if wanted, the workforce can customise these to suit the particulars of their establishment.2-3 

Evaluation of the affected person previous to intubation is required to judge the anatomy and test on the hemodynamic and pulmonary standing. As a result of anatomic variations talked about above, a shoulder roll or folded towel could also be helpful to place the top and neck in order that the vocal cords and glottis might be visualized. Traditionally, uncuffed ETT have been mostly utilized in neonatal sufferers however use of cuffed tubes are rising as research have proven that they might be a better option.4 Orotracheal intubation can be essentially the most used route however nasotracheal intubation is an accessible possibility and could also be a consideration as extra research are being printed exhibiting favorable outcomes.5

ETT sizes for neonates are sometimes decided by affected person weight (2.5 mm tube if <1,000 grams, 3.0 tube if 1,000-2,000 grams, 3.5 mm tube if 2,000-3,000 grams, 3.5 or 4.0 mm tube if >3,000 grams).3 Deciding on the fitting measurement ETT has been a problem, with a number of proposed measurement prediction fashions accessible. An article printed in 2022 in contrast 4 strategies of estimating the right measurement tube for pediatric sufferers and concluded that ultrasonic analysis of the cricoid cartilage and trachea was the most effective strategy, and utilizing the diameter of the little finger to be the most effective of the standard approaches.6

The Intubation Process

To intubate, the affected person must be correctly positioned and preoxygenated. If doable, drugs (sedative and paralytic) could also be helpful to facilitate intubation. Oxygen and bag-mask air flow must be continued all through the process to keep away from desaturation and clear exhaled CO2. Sedation is usually achieved with Fentanyl (4 mcg/kg) adopted by saline flush given first, then think about giving Atropine (20 mcg/kg) adopted by saline flush to cut back points with reflex bradycardia and dry secretions. Suxamethonium (2 mg/kg) adopted by saline flush is given to paralyze, and the intubation ought to comply with instantly. The process ought to cease if the intubation isn’t accomplished inside 30 seconds from the time of laryngoscope insertion, if bradycardia <70 beats/minute happens at any time, or if oxygen saturation drops <70%. Use bag-mask air flow with oxygen to regain an excellent baseline earlier than restarting the process.3 A bougie catheter could also be used to determine the trail by means of the glottis and permit for the ETT to move over the catheter into the decrease airway. Video laryngoscopy could also be useful if the glottis can’t be visualized.6

Right place within the airway is difficult in neonates and youthful pediatric sufferers as a result of quick size of the trachea. Prediction fashions have been used to offer steering for ETT depth however there have been a number of research that present issues with the lots of the pointers. Work is continuous to attempt to enhance these fashions.2,8 Affirmation of ETT placement consists of bodily examination, auscultation of the chest and epigastrum, capnography, chest radiography, use of sunshine/sound transmitting units, and ultrasound.2 Motion of the top (by neck flexation or neck extension or turning the top backward and forward) strikes the ETT up or down within the trachea. This will malposition the ETT so additional care should be taken to insure the tube is on the appropriate spot and isn’t malpositioned when procedures or transferring the affected person (ie transport, holding, repositioning within the mattress) happen.2  

Securing the Airway

As soon as an ETT has been inserted and checked for correct place, it should be secured. ETT might be secured by taping or by a tube-holding machine. With both strategy, additional care should be taken to keep away from pores and skin irritation, pores and skin breakdown and stress sores. If utilizing tape, use of “pre-taping” with a clear dressing, akin to 3M’s Tegaderm, Convatec’s Duoderm OpSite, or 3M’s No Sting barrier movie, helps enhance tape adhesion and defend the pores and skin. A number of tapes can be found to make use of together with merchandise akin to Beiersdorf Inc’s Leukoplast or Elastoplast, or Kendall Healthcare Merchandise’ WetPruf. It is strongly recommended that benzoin compounds not be used to assist in tape adherence to the pores and skin for securing toddler ETTs as injury to the pores and skin could happen when eradicating the tape.9

Utilizing tape to safe the ETT is tough in neonates and pediatric sufferers as a result of great amount of oral secretions. Many websites are utilizing ETT holding units that work successfully in securing the airway. There are a variety of units accessible available on the market, together with the AnchorFast ET Tube Holder, Cooper Surgical Neo-fit, Smiths Medical Portex ETTube Holder, Neotech Neo Bar, Ambu ETT Holder, and the Laerdal Thomas Tube Holder.9

COVID-19 Concerns

With the 2020-2021 modifications introduced on by the COVID-19 pandemic, many procedures needed to be evaluated and revised with the intention to defend the affected person, healthcare workforce, and households. An interim guideline for Fundamental Life Assist (BLS) and Superior Cardiac Life assist (ACLS) for intubation in suspected or confirmed circumstances of COVID-19 was launched in 2022.10 This doc emphasizes three details: 

All members of the resuscitation workforce ought to put on a respirator (N95), together with different PPE, akin to robe, gloves, and eye safety when caring for somebody with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 an infection. This precaution is empathized for all actions which can be think about aerosol-generating procedures (which incorporates chest compression, defibrillation, bag-mask air flow, intubation, and constructive stress air flow).

Resuscitation actions have to be bolstered, as there was a dramatic lower in cardiac arrest survival throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. The trigger(s) for this lower is unclear and complicated, however the authors talked about that there could have been delays in immediate actions as a result of added time in donning PPE or in securing the airway. As well as, carrying PPE could have contributed to extra rescuer fatigue that led to a lower within the high quality of CPR being carried out.  

Take motion to have sufficient PPE provides available in all medical settings and stress that every one members of the well being care workforce adjust to the really helpful precautions to keep away from doable publicity or unfold of the virus. Use of high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters is included within the suggestions to cut back spreading the virus. All air flow units (bag-mask, noninvasive and invasive ventilators) must have HEPA filters in place on the exhaust portion of the machine. As a substitute for HEPA filters, a warmth and moisture exchanging (HME) filter with >99.99% viral filtration effectivity can be utilized between the air flow machine and the airway. The HME ought to stay in place when altering from one machine to a different (ie switching from bag-mask air flow to utilizing a noninvasive or invasive air flow strategy). 

Video laryngoscopy is really helpful to extend the success fee and (presumably) to lower the time/makes an attempt wanted for correct placement of the ETT. Use of a cuffed ETT (somewhat than uncuffed) is really helpful to cut back the potential for aerosolizing respiratory particles. Moreover, the rule mentions the necessity to keep a closed circuit between the ETT and the ventilating devise. With this in thoughts, endotracheal administration of medicines must be averted as a result of must disconnect from the air flow supply and this will likely trigger unfiltered exhalation produce as aerosol. The rules point out that new child infants should not more likely to be a supply of COVID-19 transmission even when the mom is confirmed to have the virus, however to take into account that the mom will probably be a possible supply of an infection (with both confirmed or suspected standing).10


Intubation in neonatal and pediatric sufferers is intense and might be tense. It requires ability, information, apply, and the fitting workforce, proper tools, good communication, and good timing to achieve success. These sufferers can’t be cared for as “little adults” however name for particular care as a consequence of their measurement and fragile nature. There’s much less leeway, much less wiggle room for having all the things appropriate; putting the right-sized tube in the fitting place is tougher. With the added burden of COVID-19 precautions, this process has turn into tougher, however an excellent consequence can nonetheless be achieved.


Invoice Pruitt, MBA, RRT, CPFT, FAARC, is a author, lecturer, and marketing consultant. He has over 40 years of expertise in respiratory care, and has over 20 years educating on the College of South Alabama in Cardiorespiratory Care. Now retired from educating, he continues to supply visitor lectures and write. For more information, contact [email protected] 


  1. From the Anesthesia Key web site: Intubation of the Pediatric Affected person | Anesthesia Key (aneskey.com).
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