Determining the Odds of Difficult Airway Resolution Among Pediatric Patients: A Case Series

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1 Scopus citations


Objective: We sought to determine the patient factors that contribute to the improvement and resolution of difficult airways in pediatric patients. Study Design: The hospital’s Multidisciplinary Airway Registry Committee was created in November 2006 to develop a process for recognition and management of children with difficult airways. A database of these patients is actively maintained, allowing for statistical data analysis. Setting: The tertiary care hospital system consists of 2 campuses serving the indigent pediatric population of the greater Dallas metropolitan area and performs an average of 40,000 anesthetic encounters per year. Methods: We examined the data from a difficult airway database from a major tertiary care pediatric hospital to determine patient factors that led to airway improvement over time. Patients enrolled in the registry from November 2006 to October 2019 due to difficulties with intubation or mask ventilation were studied through statistical analysis. Results: A total of 579 patients were identified. The Kaplan-Meier estimate of the 5-year deactivation rate was 14%. The most common reason for deactivation in our cohort was resolution of the difficult airway as defined by direct laryngoscopy Cormack and Lehane grade I or IIa/IIb, easy mask ventilation or laryngeal mask placement, or resolution of subglottic stenosis. Conclusion: Advancing age and male sex at the time of enrollment were the most important predictors of an airway remaining difficult.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)592-596
Number of pages5
JournalOtolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery (United States)
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2021


  • difficult airway
  • pediatric
  • registry
  • resolution of difficult airway

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Otorhinolaryngology


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