Airway management procedures are an integral part of caring for the newborn infant with respiratory compromise. Concomitant with these interventions are iatrogenic consequences that result in varying degrees of trauma to the tracheobronchial tree. Common interventions such as intubation, mechanical ventilation, use of heated and humidified gases, and endotracheal suctioning are discussed using research-based literature that evaluates the injury to the trachea and the mucociliary transport system.
Development of the respiratory system requires the integration of anatomic, physiologic, and biochemical factors. This process is described from 5 weeks gestation until establishment of respirations after birth