UMEM Educational Pearls

The pediatric epiglottis is more "U" shaped, often overlies the glottic opening, and is "less in line with the trachea."1 Because of this, it has traditionally been taught that a Miller blade is the ideal laryngoscope.

Varghese et al compared the efficacy of the Macintosh blade and the Miller blade when placed in the vallecula of children between the ages of 1 and 24 months. The blades provided similar views and suffered similar failure rates. When the opposite blade was used as a backup, it had a similar success rate as the opposing blade.2 Passi et al also compared these two blades, this time placing the Miller blade over the epiglottis. Again, similar views were achieved.3


1.      Harless J, Ramaiah R, Bhananker S. Pediatric airway management. Int J. Crit Illn Inj Sci. 2014;4(1):65-70.

2.      Varghese E, Kundu R. Does the Miller blade truly provide a better laryngoscopic view and intubating conditions than the Macintosh blade in small children? Paediatr Anaesth. 2014;24:825-829.

3.      Passi Y, Sathyamoorthy M, Lerman J, et al. Comparison of the laryngoscopy views with the size 1 Miller and Macintosh laryngoscope blades lifting the epiglottis or the base of the tongue in infants and children <2 yr. of age. Br J Anaesth. 2014;113(5):869-874.