Emergency Endotracheal Intubation With a Rigid Stylet of an Infant With Severe Subglottic Stenosis

Jonathan R. Strutt, Nicole R. Thompson, Jennifer L. Stotesbery, Balazs Horvath

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Background: Subglottic stenosis is a frequent complication of endotracheal intubation in children and can create a difficult airway situation for subsequent respiratory illnesses. Difficult airway algorithms are an essential aid when dealing with respiratory failure in clinical situations where ventilation or intubation is unsuccessful. Case Report: A 4-month-old infant with a history of previous endotracheal intubation required endotracheal intubation for stridor and respiratory failure due to croup. There was difficulty intubating the trachea due to severe subglottic stenosis that developed following the previous episode of endotracheal intubation. Successful intubation was facilitated by the use of a rigid endotracheal tube stylet to facilitate passage of an endotracheal tube through the stenotic segment. Why Should an Emergency Physician Be Aware of This?: Difficult airway algorithms recommend the use of invasive airway access only as a last resort and noninvasive airway access should be explored prior to their use. The use of a readily available rigid stylet as an alternative method for tracheal intubation should be considered only after more conventional techniques and potential complications have been considered.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e157-e160
JournalJournal of Emergency Medicine
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Elsevier Inc.


  • difficult airway
  • endotracheal intubation
  • pediatrics
  • rigid stylet
  • subglottic stenosis


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