Suction is used to clear retained or excessive lower respiratory tract secretions in patients who are unable to do so effectively for themselves. This could be due to the presence of an artificial airway, such as an endotracheal or tracheostomy tube, or in patients who have a poor cough due to a variety of reasons such as excessive sedation or neurological involvement.
The subglottis is just below the vocal cords at the bottom of the voice box (larynx). It is the narrowest part of a child’s airway. Subglottic stenosis is a narrowing of the subglottic airway. Doctors do not know how many children are affected by subglottic stenosis, but we see around 200 children with the condition each year at Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH).
The vocal cords, also known as vocal folds, sit at the top of the windpipe (trachea). They are two folds of tissue stretched across the voice box (larynx). They vibrate, adjusting the flow of air from the lungs, to produce speech sounds. Vocal cord paralysis is the term used when there is weakness in one or both vocal folds stopping them moving as they should.