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To determine if implementing a protocol maintaining an air leak when using cuffed endotracheal tubes (ETT) throughout the course of mechanical ventilation (MV) in children would decrease the rate of postextubation stridor (PES).All children requiring MV through a cuffed ETT were included, except those with (1) upper airway anomaly, (2) died while on MV, (3) received tracheostomy before extubation, and (4) transferred before extubation. We implemented a protocol limiting the volume of air instilled into the cuff, allowing an air leak by 25 cm H2O pressure or by peak inspiratory pressure, whichever was higher. Monitoring occurred every 6 hours, adjusting cuff volumes if necessary. Patients receiving nebulized racemic epinephrine within 24 hours of extubation for upper airway obstruction were defined as having PES.At baseline, 110 patients received cuffed ETTs. The proportion of patients who had an air leak at the time of extubation was 47.3%, and that who developed PES was 21.8%. During the intervention, 101 patients received cuffed ETTs. Most (72.3%) had an air leak at the time of extubation (P< .01), and 9.9% developed PES, a 54.6% relative decrease (relative risk, 0.45; 95% confidence interval, 0.22-0.90; P= .018).Maintaining an appropriate air leak throughout the course of MV using cuffed ETT decreases the rate of PES in children.