BMJ Case Reports 2012; doi:10.1136/bcr-2012-007282
  • Reminder of important clinical lesson

A compromising paediatric airway, secondary to a mediastinal mass and tracheal compression: a challenging scenario

  1. Boon Low3
  1. 1Department of Emergency, Belfast Trust, Belfast, UK
  2. 2Department of Radiology, Belfast Trust, Belfast, UK
  3. 3Department of Emergency Medicine, South Eastern Trust, Belfast, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Adeel Akhtar, adeelakhtar{at}


A 5-year-old boy presented to the emergency department, with 10 days history of dry cough, increasing shortness of breath, blue coloured lips and facial puffiness.

On examination, respiratory rate was 20 breaths/min, oxygen saturations was 98% on room air, and on inspection the child had facial swelling, associated with prominent neck veins. On auscultation of the chest bilateral wheeze with harsh breath sounds were heard.

A chest radiograph revealed enlarged soft tissues in the upper …

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