Pediatric cuffed endotracheal tubes: an evolution of care

Ochsner J. 2011 Spring;11(1):52-6.


Purpose: To examine the history of pediatric endotracheal intubation and the issues surrounding the change from uncuffed endotracheal tubes to cuffed endotracheal tubes, including pediatric airway anatomy, endotracheal tube design, complications, and safety concerns.

Method: Review of the literature.

Conclusions: Although the use of cuffed endotracheal tubes in infants and children remains a topic of debate, the literature supports this change in practice. Meticulous attention must be given to intracuff pressure. Cuffed endotracheal tubes designed especially for the pediatric patient may increase the margin of safety.

Keywords: Cuffed endotracheal tube; equipment design; pediatric airway; stridor; subglottic stenosis; tracheal intubation; ventilation.