Biomed Res Int. 2015;2015:368761. doi: 10.1155/2015/368761. Epub 2015 Nov 22.
Pediatric airway management is a challenge in routine anesthesia practice. Any airway-related complication due to improper procedure can have catastrophic consequences in pediatric patients. The authors reviewed the current relevant literature using the following data bases: Google Scholar, PubMed, Medline (OVID SP), and Dynamed, and the following keywords: Airway/s, Children, Pediatric, Difficult Airways, and Controversies. From a summary of the data, we identified several controversies: difficult airway prediction, difficult airway management, cuffed versus uncuffed endotracheal tubes for securing pediatric airways, rapid sequence induction (RSI), laryngeal mask versus endotracheal tube, and extubation timing. The data show that pediatric anesthesia practice in perioperative airway management is currently lacking the strong evidence-based medicine (EBM) data that is available for adult subpopulations. A number of procedural steps in airway management are derived only from adult populations. However, the objective is the same irrespective of patient age: proper securing of the airway and oxygenation of the patient.
Almost all supraglottic airways (SGAs) are now available in pediatric sizes. The availability of these smaller sizes, especially in the last five years has brought a marked change in the whole approach to airway management in children. SGAs are now used for laparoscopic surgeries, head and neck surgeries, remote anesthesia; and for ventilation during resuscitation. A large number of reports have described the use of SGAs in difficult airway situations, either as a primary or a rescue airway. Despite this expanded usage, there remains little evidence to support its usage in prolonged surgeries and in the intensive care unit. This article presents an overview of the current options available, suitability of one over the other and reviews the published data relating to each device. In this review, the author also addresses some of the general concerns regarding the use of SGAs and explores newer roles of their use in children.