Multiple congenital anomalies are closely linked to Down syndrome (trisomy 21). Cardiac malformations are found in 40% of patients, a large number of whom will require a major surgical procedure. The importance of postextubation strider in these children is frequently underestimated. A retrospective review of 99 trisomy 21 patients who underwent cardiovascular surgery revealed postextubation strider in 24 (24.2%). Significant factors for the development of stridor included younger age (P=0.04), lower growth percentile for weight (P=0.03), and increased frequency of reintubation (P=0.04). Subglottic stenosis was found in 6 (6.1%). In 4 of these patients, an endotracheal tube of larger diameter than predicted for age was used. All 6 patients were less than the 10th percentile for weight. We conclude that Down syndrome patients deserve special considerations and modifications of standard intubation techniques for successful airway management.
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