Airway Challenges in a Preterm Neonate with Undiagnosed Complete Tracheal Rings Posted for Surgery UD03-UD05
Pratika Pradeep Bhokare,
1103 Labh, Shubh Labh Apts, 90 Feet Road, Opp Kelkar College, Mulund East, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India.
Preterm neonates are defined as those born before 37 weeks. The anatomical features of preterm neonates vary from that of an adult, such that they have a large tongue, an anterior funnel shaped larynx, angled vocal cords and an omega shaped epiglottis. Their physiological development also differ as they have a greater risk for apnoea of prematurity, airflow obstruction, bronchopulmonary dysplasia, low functional residual capacity and decreased transient oxygen tension. Congenital airway anomalies have a prevalence rate of 0.2-1 in 10,000 live births. Congenital Tracheal Stenosis (CTS) caused by complete tracheal rings is one of the rarest forms of all the airway anomalies that occur, which is characterised by presence of complete â€˜Oâ€™ shaped cartilaginous rings of trachea devoid of a membranous part. The case discussed in the article is that of a day 26 preterm neonate with increasing abdominal distension and failure to thrive. The neonate was posted for an urgent exploratory laparotomy for abdominal decompression and ileostomy. Patient was kept on Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) support for four days immediately after birth; however, intubation was never attempted nor required. With a history of respiratory depression and lack of history of previous intubation, difficult airway cart was kept ready prior to surgery. Supraglottic Airway (SGA) devices were at the core of airway rescue in this case of undiagnosed CTS. This case report shows how and why a preparation for difficult airway in preterm neonates is a necessity. It will provide as a guide if a similar case is encountered by the anaesthetist.