Airway management protocol for conjoined twins delivery

Adam Snoap, Varun V. Varadarajan, Meredith E. Mowitz, Saleem Islam, William O. Collins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: Conjoined twin deliveries require collaborative preparation by multiple specialties for successful airway management. Literature regarding neonatal airway management after conjoined twin delivery is limited to case reports. We present a case series of conjoined twins and introduce an airway management protocol for conjoined twin delivery. Methods: The medical records of conjoined twins and their mothers at a tertiary care center were reviewed from April 2016 to December 2018. The NCBI database was queried for literature regarding preparation for neonatal airway management after conjoined twins delivery. Results: Five sets of conjoined twins were delivered. Of 10 neonates, all required bag valve mask ventilation. Other airway interventions included continuous positive airway pressure (7), endotracheal intubation (6), and direct laryngoscopy with telescopic video evaluation (1). No patients required ex-utero intrapartum treatment or emergent tracheostomy. A protocol for airway management is described and special considerations are discussed, including anatomic variations, equipment list, operating room staffing and layout, multidisciplinary prenatal conference, and airway imaging review. Conclusion: Conjoined twin deliveries have significant implications for the otolaryngologist and require multidisciplinary collaboration. An airway management protocol allows for a standardized process to secure the neonatal airway and optimize patient outcomes.

Original languageEnglish
Article number110477
JournalInternational Journal of Pediatric Otorhinolaryngology
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Airway obstruction
  • Conjoined twins
  • Infant
  • Pediatric airway


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