Some children require extra support with breathing. Children can be connected to a ventilator (breathing machine) with a breathing tube. These tubes are inserted while a child is under anaesthetic. Children are given sedation to help them manage having a breathing tube.
An endotracheal tube is a common type of breathing tube. It is placed into the mouth or nose and down the windpipe (trachea) to the lungs. The other end of the tube is connected to the ventilator. Doctors use the ventilator to maintain the right pressures and oxygen levels in the lungs.
Another type of breathing tube connected through an opening in the neck is a tracheostomy tube.
This topic has been reviewed by paediatric intensive care medicine specialist in August 2022.