Risk of Complications Using Laryngeal Mask Airway versus Endotracheal Tube During General Anesthesia in Pediatric Patients with Upper Respiratory Infections: A Narrative Review. Creation of the Upper Respiratory Infection Screening Tool© and Management Al


  • Megan Grelson, SRNA


pediatric, upper respiratory infection, anesthesia, laryngeal mask airway, endotracheal tube


The inflammatory process that occurs in an upper respiratory

infection poses an increased risk of complications for children

undergoing general anesthesia for a surgical procedure. The anesthesia

providers need to decide which airway device, laryngeal

mask airways or endotracheal tubes, is most appropriate and has

less risk of adverse respiratory complications. A literature search

was completed using EMBASE, Cumulative Index to Nursing

and Allied Health Literature, and the Cochrane Library. Ten

articles were found comparing the use of laryngeal mask airways

and endotracheal tubes in children with upper respiratory infections.

Synthesis of the literature concluded that laryngeal mask

airways have a decreased risk of complications compared to

endotracheal tubes when used in children with recent or current

upper respiratory infections. With this information, the use of

a laryngeal mask airway should be considered in place of an

Volume 2, No. 1 13

endotracheal tube. The Upper Respiratory Infection Screening

Tool© and the Management Algorithm for Children Presenting

for General Anesthesia© were designed for quick recognition of

children at high risk for respiratory complications and provide

management techniques for anesthesia providers to follow.


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