Table 1

Patient characteristics stratified by the difficulty of intubation

Patient characteristicsNon-difficult intubation
(n=1733)
Difficult intubation
(n=276)
P value
Gestational age (GA) at birth, weeks, median (25%, 75%)29 (25, 35)28 (25, 34)0.08
Birth weight, g, median (25%, 75%)1090 (710, 2515)904 (680, 2020)0.005
Day of life at time of intubation, median (25%, 75%)14 (1, 50)10 (1, 41)0.09
Corrected GA at time of intubation, weeks, median (25%, 75%)34 (29, 39)31 (28, 37)<0.001
Weight at time of intubation, g1870 (1000, 3050)1326 (830, 2600)<0.001
Sex* (male), n (%)1024 (59)158 (57)0.75
Comorbidities, n (%)
 Acute respiratory failure1003 (58)171 (62)0.2
 Chronic respiratory failure412 (24)66 (24)0.9
 Congenital anomaly requiring surgery176 (10)19 (7)0.1
 Neurological impairment (eg, HIE, seizures and stroke)125 (7)21 (8)0.4
 Cardiac disease (excluding isolated patent ductus arteriosus)124 (7)19 (7)1.0
 Airway or craniofacial anomaly110 (6)20 (7)0.6
 Sepsis106 (6)28 (10)0.02
 Surgery/procedure for acquired disorder7 (<1)3 (1)0.2
Indication for intubation, n (%)
 Ventilation failure664 (38)94 (34)0.2
 Oxygenation failure550 (32)71 (29)0.3
 Frequent apnoea and desaturations343 (20)54 (20)1.0
 Surfactant administration299 (17)64 (23)0.02
 Intubation for procedure194 (11)20 (7)0.06
 Upper airway obstruction87 (5)23 (8)0.03
 Unstable haemodynamics37 (2)3 (1)0.3
 Absent protective reflexes8 (<1)4 (2)0.07
 Neuromuscular weakness4 (<1)1 (<1)0.5
  • *Sex was unknown in four neonates.

  • HIE, hypoxic–ischaemic encephalopathy.