Difficult Bag Mask Ventilation in Children

2016-07-06 23:08:21 | BioPortfolio


Unanticipated difficult airway comprises of unexpected difficult bag mask ventilation or unforeseen difficult laryngoscopy. The incidence of difficult laryngoscopy or unanticipated difficult intubation in children was varied from 1.2 %to 4.77% depending on general or specific population and type of surgery. The known risk factors of difficult intubation in children were young age, associated syndrome or congenital abnormality and obstructive sleep apnea. Moreover, the predictors of difficult laryngoscopy by physical examination were associated with short interincisors distance, high frontal plane to chin distance, short thyromental distance and Cormack & Lehane classification 3 or 4. However, little knowledge is known regarding difficult bag mask ventilation in children. The incidence of difficult bag mask ventilation was 6.6% according to the single study. A few study reported the independent risk factor of difficult bag mask ventilation in children which were young age, obesity, use of neuromuscular blocking agent and airway surgery. In addition, the association between difficult bag mask ventilation and difficult intubation are still unknown. To understand more of difficult bag mask ventilation in children and factor-association may reduce incidence of morbidity and mortality by identifying difficult airway, preparing personnel and equipment tool in order to improve clinical outcome in pediatric anesthesia. The objectives of the study were to determine the predictors of difficult bag mask ventilation and the association with unexpected difficult intubation in children who came for elective surgery in tertiary care hospital of southern Thailand.


Study protocol and anesthesia practice Patient's demographic and history of snoring or asthma/hyper-reactive airway were obtained by research assistant at preinduction period. Standard monitoring including non-invasive blood pressure, pulse oximetry, electrocardiography and capnography were applied to all patients before starting general anesthesia. All patients were received general anesthesia with oroendotracheal tube intubation. Induction techniques were either inhalation anesthetic agent by N2O-O2-sevoflurane or intravenous agent with 100% O2. Type of anesthetic circuit used (Circle or Jackson-Rees) was depending on anesthesiologist in charge. Patients head position were in neutral under small head ring to prevent head movement during induction. Maneuvers on bag mask ventilation such as application of CPAP with opening airway maneuvers, oropharyngeal airway or two person ventilations were recorded by research assistant at induction period. When positive pressure ventilation was difficult after the patients had been slept, the CPAP ≥5 cmH2O was applied incorporated with opening airway by head tilt/chin lip or jaw thrust until assisted spontaneous ventilation was successful. Then the next maneuvers on bag mask ventilation described above would be followed if bag mask ventilation was still not possible. Neuromuscular blocking agents for intubation were used or not depending on the discretion of the attending anesthesiologist. If anesthesiologist in charge found the bag mask ventilation was difficult, non-depolarizing muscle relaxant may be held until bag mask ventilation was successful or succinylcholine was given to assist laryngoscopy procedure. The laryngoscopists were nurse anesthetists student, anesthesia residents, nurse anesthetist and anesthesiologist staff. Number of intubation attempts, Cormack-Lehane laryngoscopic view, intubation time in second and presence of desaturation (SpO2 < 95%) were recorded by research assistant at intubation period. There were many optioned used to aid successful intubation such as applying BURP maneuver, endotracheal tube with stylet used, change to smaller endotracheal tube size, change laryngoscope type or change to more experience laryngoscopists. Attending anesthesiologists take responsibility over nurse anesthetists student, anesthesia resident and nurse anesthetists for first or second failure of intubation attempts.

Outcome of interest Primary outcomes were to determine the predictors of difficult bag mask ventilation. The difficult bag mask ventilation was defined as the occurrence at least 2 following events which were requiring application of CPAP with opening airway maneuvers, requiring oropharyngeal airway or nasopharyngeal airway, requiring 2- person bag mask ventilation, unable to perform bag mask ventilation or presence of desaturation (SpO2 < 95%).

Secondary outcome was to find out the association between difficult bag mask ventilation and unexpected difficult intubation and potential predictors of unexpected difficult intubation if possible.

Unexpected difficult intubation was defined as the presence of at least 2 following conditions which were laryngoscopic view 3 or 4, attempted intubation > 3 times, total intubation time > 300 second or presence of desaturation (SpO2 < 95%). The intubation time was defined as the time starting from applying laryngoscope to presence of positive capnography wave form. In case of fail intubation, the intubation time started from applying laryngoscope to remove laryngoscope from children's mouth. The total intubation time was the combined timing of each intubation attempts

Study Design

Observational Model: Cohort, Time Perspective: Prospective


Inadequate or Impaired Breathing Pattern or Ventilation




Faculty of Medicine, Prince of Songkla University
Hat Yai




Prince of Songkla University

Results (where available)

View Results


Published on BioPortfolio: 2016-07-06T23:08:21-0400

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