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OR in the News (selected articles)

Stein ML, Park RS, Kiss EE, Adams HD, Burjek NE, Peyton J, Szmuk P, Staffa SJ, Fiadjoe JE, Kovatsis PG, Olomu PN, Pe DICI: Efficacy of a hybrid technique of simultaneous videolaryngoscopy with flexible bronchoscopy in children with difficult direct laryngoscopy in the Pediatric Difficult Intubation Registry. Anaesthesia 2023; 78: 1093-1101

August 3, 2023

Children with difficult tracheal intubation are at increased risk of severe complications, including hypoxaemia and cardiac arrest. Increasing experience with the simultaneous use of videolaryngoscopy and flexible bronchoscopy (hybrid) in adults led us to hypothesise that this hybrid technique could be used safely and effectively in children under general anaesthesia. We reviewed observational data from the international Pediatric Difficult Intubation Registry from 2017 to 2021 to assess the safety and efficacy of hybrid tracheal intubation approaches in paediatric patients. In total, 140 patients who underwent 180 attempts at tracheal intubation with the hybrid technique were propensity score-matched 4:1 with 560 patients who underwent 800 attempts with a flexible bronchoscope. In the hybrid group, first attempt success was 70% (98/140) compared with 63% (352/560) in the flexible bronchoscope group (odds ratio (95%CI) 1.4 (0.9–2.1), p = 0.1). Eventual success rates in the matched groups were 90% (126/140) for hybrid vs. 89% (499/560) for flexible bronchoscope (1.1 (0.6–2.1), p = 0.8). Complication rates were similar in both groups (15% (28 complications in 182 attempts) hybrid; 13% (102 complications in 800 attempts) flexible bronchoscope, p = 0.3). The hybrid technique was more likely than flexible bronchoscopy to be used as a rescue technique following the failure of another technique (39% (55/140) vs. 25% (138/560), 2.1 (1.4–3.2) p < 0.001). While technically challenging, the hybrid technique has success rates similar to other advanced airway techniques, few complications and may be considered an alternative technique when developing an airway plan for paediatric patients whose tracheas are difficult to intubate under general anaesthesia.