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Case Reports in Pediatrics
Volume 2017, Article ID 1848945, 4 pages
Case Report

Complete Obstruction of Endotracheal Tube in an Infant with a Retropharyngeal and Anterior Mediastinal Abscess

Department of Anesthesiology, Duke University School of Medicine, Durham, NC, USA

Correspondence should be addressed to Andrea G. Udani; ude.ekud@hcirdoog.aerdna

Received 14 July 2016; Accepted 12 January 2017; Published 14 February 2017

Academic Editor: Neerja Bharti

Copyright © 2017 Dennis B. Thapa et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Intraoperative ventilatory failure is not an uncommon complication; however, acute endotracheal obstruction by a foreign body or blood clot can be difficult to quickly discriminate from other causes. Once the diagnosis is made, quick action is needed to restore ventilation. The ultimate solution is to exchange the endotracheal tube; however, there can be other ways of resolving this in situations where reintubation would be difficult or unsafe. This case report discusses such an event in an infant with multiple airway challenges including a retropharyngeal and anterior mediastinal abscess. We have also formulated a pathway based on various case reports involving complete ETT obstruction.