Alternatives to neonatal intubation

Semin Fetal Neonatal Med. 2023 Oct;28(5):101488. doi: 10.1016/j.siny.2023.101488. Epub 2023 Nov 18.


Opportunities to learn and maintain competence in neonatal intubation have decreased. As many clinicians providing care to the newborn infant are not skilled in intubation, alternative strategies are critical. Most preterm infants breathe spontaneously, and require stabilisation rather than resuscitation at birth. Use of tactile stimulation, deferred cord clamping, and avoidance of hypoxia can help optimise breathing for these infants. Nasal devices appear a promising alternative to the face mask for early provision of respiratory support. In term and near-term infants, supraglottic airways may be the most effective initial approach to resuscitation. Use of supraglottic airways during resuscitation can be taught to a range of providers, and may reduce need for intubation. While face mask ventilation is an important skill, it is challenging to perform effectively. Identification of the best approach to training the use of these devices during neonatal resuscitation remains an important priority.

Keywords: Airway management; Infant; Intratracheal; Intubation; Laryngeal masks; Newborn; Resuscitation.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infant, Premature*
  • Intubation, Intratracheal*
  • Masks
  • Respiration
  • Resuscitation