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The Effect of Endotracheal Inflation Technique on Endotracheal Cuff Pressure

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Technical Report

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Uniformed Services University Of The Health Sciences Bethesda United States

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Many surgical procedures require general anesthesia in which endotracheal intubation and mechanical ventilation is utilized in order to maintain adequate patient oxygenation. Endotracheal intubation, helps assure delivery of the adequate ventilation and prevention of aspiration of stomach contents into the lungs. In this study endotracheal cuff pressures were measured and correlated to currently utilized cuff inflation techniques. Data was analyzed using descriptive statistics. In 46 of the cases the cuffs were inflated using the pilot balloon palpation technique, 28were inflated using the set volume technique, and 26 using the minimum occlusive pressure technique. Regardless of the technique used, none of the cuff pressures collected were found to be in the acceptable range of 18 to 25 mmHg. Thirteen percent of cuff pressures were below the minimum value required to prevent aspiration, and 87 of the sample were inflated above the maximum acceptable pressure, risking tracheal ischemia. These results suggest that the currently used techniques expose patients to excessive endotracheal cuff pressures.

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