Total amount: € 0,00
Online ISSN 1827-1596
CRITICAL AND INTENSIVE THERAPY
Meneghini L., Zadra N., Metrangolo S., Narne S., Giusti F.
Università degli Studi - Padova Istituto di Anestesia e Rianimazione
Background. Endotracheal intubation (EI) may result in significant injury to the larynx and trachea; subglottic stenosis is the most dangerous consequence of this injury in the pediatric age. It is well known that there are potential risk factors for post-intubation subglottic stenosis, and namely the underlying disease requiring EI, the age and body weight at EI, the duration and number of EI, the absence of sedation and the occurrence of infectious, hypotensive or hypoxic events during the period of EI and the traumatic EI. On the basis of our data an attempt is made to understand which factors are more important in the pathogenesis of this complication and whether post-intubation subglottic stenosis is a preventable complication of EI in children.
Methods. The clinical records of 32 out of 35 children with post-intubation subglottic stenosis referred to our institution because of this complication in the period 1990-1997 (8 years) have been examined. Three children were excluded from the study because of partial data. Our surgical division is specialized in the diagnosis and the management of pediatric laryngotracheal diseases. The diagnosis was confirmed by videolaryngotracheoscopy under general anesthesia and by computerized tomography or magnetic resonance imaging in 10 children whose tracheal stenosis was critical. The degree of the stenosis was determined according to Cotton’s classification.
Results. The analysis of our data confirms that post-intubation subglottic stenosis is a more frequent complication in infants and particularly in low birth weight infants. It occurred after long lasting EI, but after short lasting EI too. Many of the children observed had their trachea intubated several times during their illness and many EI were traumatic. Sedation during EI was only seldom took into account by pediatric intensivists.
Conclusions. Prevention of post-intubation subglottic stenosis is possible through a better management of the EI and of the child with a tracheal tube. Sedation of intubated children and skill in the EI technique and in the tube size selection are very important. Many intubations can be avoided with a better attention to the tube fixation and to extubation criteria. Some children at high risk for this complication can be identified.