Background and aims The use of cuffed endotracheal tubes in paediatric patients is still a controversial topic. This paper aims to investigate whether cuffed or uncuffed tubes should be used in children under the age of 8 based on the literature that is currently available on this topic. Currently there are no guidelines on this topic.
Methods literature review.
Results The results of the first four studies reviewed all show significant results in favour of use of a cuffed endotracheal tube and a change in current practice. None of the studies reviewed showed that patients were more likely to suffer injury as a result of using a cuffed tube. This is important as the review covers a variety of patients including those undergoing elective operations, burn patients and those who are critically ill. All of the studies reviewed demonstrated potential benefits of introducing cuffed tubes into practice as they reduced exchange rate, air leaks and the costs associated with the anaesthetic gases used; without a significant increase in the rates of post-extubation stridor or failed extubation.
Conclusion In conclusion cuffed tubes are shown to decrease the need for multiple intubations, reduce costs and are not shown to increase adverse effects in children of all ages.