To determine whether bag-mask ventilation between induction of anaesthesia and tracheal intubation in children with post-tonsillectomy bleeding reduces the incidence of hypoxaemia and difficult direct laryngoscopy without increasing perioperative respiratory complications.
Medical records, anaesthesia protocols and vital sign data were analysed from February 2005 to March 2017 for patients undergoing anaesthesia for surgical revision of bleeding tonsils. Type of rapid sequence induction and intubation (RSII; classical, ie, apnoeic, vs controlled, ie, with gentle bag-mask ventilation) was noted. Primary outcomes were incidence of moderate and severe hypoxaemia, grade of direct laryngoscopic views as well as occurrence of noted tracheal intubation difficulties. Haemodynamic alterations during RSII and perioperative adverse events such as noted gastric regurgitation, pulmonary aspiration and perioperative pulmonary morbidity were also recorded.
A classical RSII was performed for 22 surgical revisions in 22 children and a controlled RSII was used for 88 surgical revisions in 81 children. Patients undergoing controlled RSII had less incidence of severe hypoxaemia (1 vs 3; P = .025), better direct laryngoscopic views (P = .048) and less hypertension (5 vs 9; P < .001) than those patients managed by classical RSII. No tracheal intubation difficulties occurred. There was no significant perioperative pulmonary morbidity reported in either group.
Controlled RSII had advantages over classical RSII in children with post-tonsillectomy bleeding and may become a strategic option in these patients to avoid hypoxaemia, difficult laryngoscopy and hypertension during induction of anaesthesia and tracheal intubation. Bag-mask ventilation in patients with bleeding tonsils did not lead to pulmonary morbidity.