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The question “how many angels can dance on the head of a pin?” is sometimes used as a rhetorical illustration of the futility of meaningless or esoteric debate, and in the paper by Clements et al,1 which discusses whether children in the prehospital environment should be treated with a cuffed or uncuffed tracheal tube, the authors come quite close to trying to count those angels.
Contrary to the image conjured up of teams of paediatric airway specialists poised to descend on sick children in the community, the reality is somewhat different. The vast majority of children will be treated …
Competing interests: AMM is clinical adviser to The Laryngeal Mask Company, St Helier, Jersey, Channel Islands, UK, and also to Intavent Orthofix, Maidenhead, UK, and a distributor of LMA devices in the UK and Eire. Both are unsalaried positions, but the author has received payment for advisory work undertaken for both companies in connection with the use of LMA devices in prehospital care.