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Variation in size of laryngoscope blades used in preterm newborns
  1. Emily A Kieran1,2,3,
  2. Colm P F O’ Donnell1,2,3
  1. 1Department of Neonatology, The National Maternity Hospital, Dublin, Ireland
  2. 2National Children's Research Centre, Dublin, Ireland
  3. 3School of Medicine and Medical Science, University College Dublin, Dublin, Ireland
  1. Correspondence to Dr Emily Kieran, Department of Neonatology, The National Maternity Hospital, Holles Street, Dublin 2, Ireland; emilykieran{at}

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Many preterm infants are intubated for breathing support and/or surfactant administration. Intubation attempts in newborns are often unsuccessful.1 ,2 Laryngoscopes are used to visualise the vocal cords when attempting intubation. To successfully intubate a baby, the operator needs a good view of the larynx and vocal cords. If the blade of the laryngoscope is too short, the vocal cords will not be visualised.3 If the blade is too long, it may cause trauma to fragile structures in the oropharynx. Inadequate views of the vocal cords have been identified as the reason for the majority of failed intubation attempts in the delivery room.1 Poor visualisation of the vocal cords can also increase the duration …

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  • Contributors EAK was involved in study design, data collection and interpretation and wrote the first draft of the manuscript. CPFO'D was involved in study design, helped in data collection and interpretation and critically revised the manuscript for intellectual content. Both authors approved the final draft of the manuscript.

  • Competing interests None.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.