Background: In children, significant complications can be encountered after airway interventions (balloon dilatation and stent deployment). Hence following the procedures after midday, our usual practice is to observe them overnight as an in-patient. This impacts patient management as treatment is often delayed if an overnight bed is not secured.
Aims and objectives: 1. To analyse the complications of elective airway assessment and intervention by flexible bronchoscopy in children with tracheal abnormalities (stenosis and malacia)
2. To explore the possibility of an early discharge (same day) if major complications were infrequent
Methods: All children with tracheal abnormalities who had elective airway assessment +/- intervention by flexible bronchoscopy in 2015 in our tertiary paediatric airway centre were included. They were divided into two groups, intervention and non-intervention.
Retrospective data collection included procedure time (morning/ afternoon), intervention type, balloon size, duration of stay and complications. Major complications are air leak, bleeding, stridor and respiratory failure. Minor complications are oxygen need, fever and mild respiratory difficulty.
Results: 57 elective procedures (intervention = 30, non-intervention = 24, missing data = 3) were performed for 39 children. Interventions included 29 balloon dilatations and 1 stent deployment. Complications in the intervention group were oxygen need (3/30) and fever (1/30). Complications in the non-intervention group were fever (2/24) and stridor (1/24).
Conclusions: Early discharge is possible after elective flexible bronchoscopy in children with tracheal abnormalities as significant complications were infrequent.