Send to

Choose Destination
Respir Care. 2014 Jun;59(6):1006-19; discussion 1019-21. doi: 10.4187/respcare.02884.

Complications of airway management.

Author information

Department of Otolaryngology.
Department of Anesthesia, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland.


Although endotracheal intubation is commonly performed in the hospital setting, it is not without risk. In this article, we review the impact of endotracheal intubation on airway injury by describing the acute and long-term sequelae of each of the most commonly injured anatomic sites along the respiratory tract, including the nasal cavity, oral cavity, oropharynx, larynx, and trachea. Injuries covered include nasoseptal injury, tongue injury, dental injury, mucosal lacerations, vocal cord immobility, and laryngotracheal stenosis, as well as tracheomalacia, tracheoinnominate, and tracheoesophageal fistulas. We discuss the proposed mechanisms of tissue damage that relate to each and present their most common clinical manifestations, along with their respective diagnostic and management options. This article also includes a review of complications of airway management pertaining to video laryngoscopy and supraglottic airway devices. Finally, potential strategies to prevent intubation-associated injuries are outlined.


airway complications; intubation; subglottic stenosis; vocal cord injury

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for HighWire
Loading ...
Support Center