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Paediatr Anaesth. 2008 Jan;18(1):77-80.

Awake tracheal intubation through the laryngeal mask in neonates with upper airway obstruction.

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1
Department of Anaesthesiology, Kansai Medical University, Moriguchi City, Osaka, Japan. asait@takii.kmu.ac.jp

Abstract

Neonates with Pierre Robin or Treacher-Collins syndrome are at risk of upper airway obstruction and may require surgical fixation of the tongue to the mandible. Such neonates are at high risk of hypoxia during induction of anesthesia and thus awake fiberoptic intubation would be required. We experienced neonates in whom awake fiberoptic intubation could not be carried out, because of severe hypoxia. Awake insertion of the laryngeal mask solved this problem. A 1-month-old neonate with Pierre Robin syndrome and another with Treacher-Collins syndrome were scheduled for surgical fixation of the tongue to the mandible, for constant upper airway obstruction. In both patients, awake fiberoptic intubation was attempted but abandoned, because SpO(2) rapidly decreased during the attempts. Awake insertion of the laryngeal mask relieved upper airway obstruction and facilitated oxygenation. Fiberoptic intubation through the laryngeal mask was easily achieved. Anesthesia was then induced. No hypoxia occurred after insertion of the laryngeal mask. In a further two neonates with Treacher-Collins syndrome and in one neonate with Pierre Robin syndrome, awake fiberoptic intubation through the laryngeal mask was also successful. We believe that in neonates with predicted difficult intubation, who are at risk of upper airway obstruction and awake fiberoptic intubation could aggregate hypoxia, awake insertion of the laryngeal mask can be useful in facilitating oxygenation (by relieving upper airway obstruction) and in facilitating fiberoptic intubation.

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