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Paediatr Anaesth. 2017 Nov;27(11):1115-1119. doi: 10.1111/pan.13238. Epub 2017 Sep 20.

Effect of availability of video laryngoscopy on the use of fiberoptic intubation in school-aged children with microtia.

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Department of Anesthesiology, Jikei University, Minato-ku, Tokyo, Japan.



With the increasing popularity of video laryngoscopy during intubation of pediatric patients with normal or difficult airways, fiberoptic-assisted tracheal intubation, traditionally considered the gold standard for difficult intubation, may become underused.


We aimed to assess the use of airway management techniques before and after introduction of video laryngoscopy in a cohort of school-aged children with microtia, who are at increased risk of difficult intubation.


We retrospectively reviewed intubation devices used for all pediatric patients with microtia who had undergone reconstructive ear surgery at a single institution during the period January 2008 to December 2012. In each case, we identified the original airway management technique and success rate, as well as success rate for subsequent rescue techniques. The use of fiberoptic-assisted tracheal intubation was compared before and after introduction of a pediatric blade for the Pentax-AWS video laryngoscope.


This study included 537 consecutive intubation procedures; 264 before and 273 after introduction of the pediatric airway scope. Elective use of fiberoptic-assisted tracheal intubation for anticipated difficult intubation was significantly less after introduction of the pediatric airway scope (before: 19 of 79, 24% vs after: 3 of 79, 4%; odds ratio 8.02; 95% confidence interval, 2.27 to 28.39; P = .0003), which achieved a 100% success rate when used as the primary technique in both routine and difficult airways. All 5 cases of failed direct laryngoscopy were rescued by the pediatric airway scope, thus eliminating emergency use of fiberscopy.


Introduction of a pediatric video laryngoscope resulted in a substantial decrease in the use of fiberoptic-assisted tracheal intubation. This change in intubation method might not influence the success rate of intubation in experienced hands but could be relevant for novice users.


airway management; congenital microtia; intubation; laryngoscopy; pediatrics

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