Current Concepts in the Management of the Difficult Pediatric Airway


Purpose of Review

The goal of this paper is to review key concepts in the management of the pediatric difficult airway. Early recognition of risk factors and thorough preparation may be helpful in reducing the risk of complications during airway management.

Recent Findings

Management of difficult pediatric airway management may be associated with a high rate of complications. It is important that clinicians understand the patient profiles associated with difficult airway management and the equipment and techniques available to effectively manage these children. Airway ultrasonography and apneic oxygenation are novel techniques that have been increasingly utilized for their potential to improve safety during difficult airway management and will be briefly discussed in this review.


This review will highlight key current concepts in the management of the difficult pediatric airway.

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Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance

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Correspondence to Narasimhan Jagannathan.

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Michelle Tsao declares that she has no conflict of interest.

Andrew Wuenstel declares that he has no conflict of interest.

Brian Zider declares that he has no conflict of interest.

John Hajduk declares that he has no conflict of interest.

Narasimhan Jagannathan has served on medical advisory boards for Vyaire Medical and Salter Labs and serves on the Editorial Boards of Anesthesia & Analgesia, Pediatric Anesthesia, Journal of Clinical Anesthesia, and Journal of Anesthesia.

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Tsao, M., Wuenstel, A., Zider, B. et al. Current Concepts in the Management of the Difficult Pediatric Airway. Curr Anesthesiol Rep 9, 123–134 (2019).

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  • Pediatric difficult airway management
  • Airway ultrasound
  • Apneic oxygenation