Purpose: Uncuffed endotracheal tubes are still preferred over cuffed tubes in certain situations in pediatric anesthesia. Inaccurately sized uncuffed endotracheal tubes may lead to inadequate ventilation or tracheal mucosal damage during anesthesia. Endotracheal tube size in children is usually assessed by measuring the audible leak pressure; if the fit of the tube and the leak pressure decrease significantly with time, reintubation during surgery as a result of inability to ventilate effectively may be challenging, and could lead to patient morbidity. There is no evidence to indicate whether leak pressure increases or decreases with time following endotracheal intubation with uncuffed tubes in children. Methods: We measured leak pressure for 30 min following tracheal intubation in 46 ASA I children age 0-7 years after excluding factors known to modify leak pressure. Results: The largest mean change in leak pressure occurred between time points 0 and 15 min, an increase of 3.5 cmH2O. Endotracheal tube size and type of procedure were associated with the leak pressure. In the final linear mixed model, there were no statistically significant variations in leak pressure over time (P = 0.129) in this group of children. Conclusions: We did not identify a consistent change in leak pressure within 30 min following tracheal intubation with uncuffed endotracheal tubes in this group of children.
- Endotracheal intubation
- Leak pressure
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine