Pediatric Microlaryngoscopy and Bronchoscopy in the COVID-19 Era

Katherine Pollaers, Hayley Herbert, Shyan Vijayasekaran

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


Importance: As an aerosol-generating procedure, traditional pediatric microlaryngoscopy and bronchoscopy techniques must be adapted in order to reduce the risk of transmission of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2. Objective: To describe a modified technique for pediatric microlaryngoscopy and bronchoscopy for use in the COVID-19 era and present a case series of patients for whom the technique has been used. Design, Setting, and Participants: Observational case series of pediatric patients undergoing emergency or urgent airway procedures performed at a tertiary pediatric otolaryngology department in Australia. Procedures were completed between March 23 and April 9, 2020, with a median (range) follow-up of 24.5 (11-28) days. Exposures: Modified technique for microlaryngoscopy and bronchoscopy, minimizing aerosolization of respiratory tract secretions. Main Outcomes and Measures: The main outcome was the feasibility of technique, which was measured by ability to perform microlaryngoscopy and bronchoscopy with comparable success to the usual technique (ie, adequate examination of the patient for diagnostic procedures and ability to perform interventional procedures). Results: The technique was used successfully in 8 patients (median [range] age, 160 days [27 days to 2 years 6 months]); 5 patients were male, and 3 were female. Intervention was performed on 6 patients; 2 balloon dilations for subglottic stenosis, 2 injections of hyaluronic acid for type 1 clefts, and 2 cold-steel supraglottoplasties. No adverse events occurred. Conclusions and Relevance: In this case series, feasibility of a modified technique for pediatric microlaryngoscopy and bronchoscopy was demonstrated. By reconsidering the surgical approach in light of specific COVID-19 infection risks, this technique may be associated with reduced spread of aerosolized respiratory secretions perioperatively and intraoperatively, but the technique and patient outcomes require further study..

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)608-612
Number of pages5
JournalJAMA Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery
Issue number7
Early online date28 Apr 2020
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2020


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