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Emergency rescue devices for difficult pediatric airway management

Brent R King, MD, MMM
Section Editor
Anne M Stack, MD
Deputy Editor
James F Wiley, II, MD, MPH


In patients with difficult airways, rescue devices (eg, laryngeal mask airway) allow for oxygenation and ventilation until a definitive airway can be secured. Emergency rescue devices may be lifesaving in children with difficult airways in whom conventional endotracheal intubation has failed. They should be available for any child undergoing emergent endotracheal intubation. This topic discusses the indications, contraindications, and techniques for use of such devices in children.

The following pediatric topics on the difficult airway are presented elsewhere:

Identification of the difficult airway (see "The difficult pediatric airway")

Devices to facilitate endotracheal intubation (see "Devices for difficult endotracheal intubation in children")

Needle cricothyroidotomy (see "Needle cricothyroidotomy with percutaneous transtracheal ventilation")


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Literature review current through: Sep 2016. | This topic last updated: Sep 12, 2014.
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