Author | Margaret M. Parker, MD


Close observation is the key to successful extubation Tips on extubation in mechanically ventilated children key words: Endotracheal intubation, Mechanical ventilation, Pediatric pulmonology

May 01, 2007

abstract: Proper assessment of the child's readiness for extubation and preparation for extubation are essential to minimize the need for reintubation and to maximize the child's safety in the periextubation period. Readiness for extubation requires that the child have adequate respiratory drive, the ability to maintain a patent airway, adequate oxygenation, and ability to ventilate spontaneously. Respiratory drive can be assessed by decreasing the ventilator settings to a minimal level and observing the child's respiratory effort and respiration rate. Evidence of increased work of breathing, such as tachypnea, retractions, and nasal flaring, suggests that the child may not be ready for extubation. If stridor and respiratory distress develop after the endotracheal tube is removed, nebulized racemic epinephrine is often quite effective; in addition, intravenous corticosteroids should be administered for 24 hours to help decrease the edema more quickly. (J Respir Dis. 2007;28(5):203-207)