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What Is an Endotracheal Tube

Views:10     Author:Site Editor     Publish Time: 2018-07-10      Origin:Site

What Is an Endotracheal Tube

Endotracheal tube is increasingly used in medicine, and it can be used for anatomy, clinical trials, emergency treatment, etc. You may have heard of entracheal tube, but do you really know what tracheal tube is? The following article will give you a detailed explanation.


An endotracheal tube is a flexible plastic tube that is placed through the mouth into the trachea (windpipe) to help a patient breathe. The endotracheal tube is then connected to a ventilator, which delivers oxygen to the lungs. The process of inserting the tube is called endotracheal tube.


Purpose of the endotracheal tube

An endotracheal tube may be placed when a patient is unable to breathe on her own, due to a medical emergency, serious illness, or during surgery when a general anesthetic is used.


Features of the endotracheal tube

Endotracheal tubes are mostly made of polyvinylchloride (PVC) and are single-use. They have a number of characteristic features that are listed below. Many variations of these designs exist in endotracheal tubes for particular purposes, as described in the links on the left.

Tube tip design

Endotracheal tubes (ETTs) typically have a left-facing bevel at the tip and, as a second design feature, a Murphy eye. The bevel is left-facing rather than right-facing to allow the ETT tip an easier pass through the vocal chords. Endotracheal tubes are usually placed with the right hand in a right-to-left direction towards the larynx (see diagram below). Whilst a tube with a bevelled tip is obviously easier to pass through the vocal chords, it is more likely to occlude when the opening makes contact with the tracheal wall.


Cuff design

The majority of endotracheal tubes used in the operating room are of the low pressure- high volume type. These cuffs have a comparatively large volume and consequently large contact area between cuff and trachea. The cuff can develop folds in this contact area when inflated, resulting in an increased risk of aspiration secondary to regurgitated fluid tracking along these fold into the trachea.

In contrast, high pressure-low volume cuffs are thought to provide better protection against aspiration. Because of their much smaller cuff-trachea contact area and higher inflation pressures used, cuff folds are less likely to develop. The downside of this cuff type is that the higher cuff pressures are more likely to lead to tracheal mucosal ischemia. The cuff of the laser tube is of the high pressure- low volume design.


Some indications for endotracheal intubation include:

For general surgery - With general anesthesia, the muscles of the body including the diaphragm are paralyzed, and placing an endotracheal tube allows the ventilator to do the work of breathing.

To remove a foreign body - If the trachea is obstructed by a foreign body that is aspirated (breathed in) an endotracheal tube may be placed to help with removal of the foreign object.

To protect the airway against aspiration - If someone has a massive GI bleed (bleeding in the stomach) or suffers a stroke, and endotracheal tube may be placed to help prevent the stomach contents from entering the airways.

To visualize the airway - If an abnormality of the larynx, trachea, or bronchi is suspected, an endotracheal tube may be placed to allow careful visualization of the airways.

After lung cancer surgery - An endotracheal tube connected to a ventilator may be left in place to help with breathing after surgery.

To support breathing - If someone is having difficulty breathing due to pneumonia, a pneumothorax (collapse of a lung) heart failure, or unconsciousness due to an overdose, stroke, or brain injury, and endotracheal tube may be placed to support breathing.


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