[Intubation with a tube exchanger on an intubation trainer : Influence of tube tip position on successful intubation.]

Der Anaesthesist

PubMedID: 24981151

Kemper M, Haas T, Imach S, Weiss M. [Intubation with a tube exchanger on an intubation trainer : Influence of tube tip position on successful intubation.]. Anaesthesist. 2014;.
Securing the airway using a tube exchanger catheter is an important and useful technique in anesthesia. Its success is mainly hampered by tube tip impingement of laryngeal structures. Advancing the tracheal tube along its normal curvature via a tube exchanger catheter has a high risk of tube tip impingement mainly of right laryngeal structures. The authors achieved successful clinical experience by rotating the tracheal tube 90° anticlockwise (ventral tube tip position) before railroading the tube via a tube exchanger catheter or a fiber optic bronchoscope through the larynx.

The aim of the study was to investigate the influence of the tracheal tube tip position while intubating an airway trainer over a tube exchange catheter.

Volunteer anesthetists with varying years of professional experience were asked to intubate an intubation mannequin (Laerdal Airway Management Trainer) using the orotracheal route with an established tube exchange catheter (Cook Airway Exchange Catheter, 11F). Two different brands of tracheal tubes (Rüsch and Covidien, ID 7.0 mm) were used in a randomized order, each with the tracheal tube tip at first positioned right (90°), then ventrally (0°), left (270°) and finally dorsally (180°), resulting in eight intubation attempts for each participant. To ensure the correct tube tip position the tube was withdrawn before every intubation attempt until the tube tip position was visualized. The oropharnyx, larynx, trachea and tube were sufficiently lubricated with silicon spray (Rüsch Silikospray). The tube and airway exchange catheter size selection were made according to the clinical trial of Loudermilk et al. Successful endotracheal intubation without resistance was recorded for each tube tip position and tracheal tube brand.

In total 20 anesthetists (13 consultants and 7 residents) with a median of 9.5 years (range 3-37 years) of professional experience participated in the study. Overall 160 intubation attempts were performed, 2 participants showed no successful intubation attempts at all and 38 out of 160 intubation attempts (23.8?%) were successful. Intubation success with the tracheal tube tip placed ventrally (0°) was 60?% followed by the left (270°) and right (90°) tracheal tube tip positions with 27.5 % and 7.5?% intubation success, respectively. With the tube tip placed dorsally (180°) none of the 40 intubation attempts were successful. Intubation attempts with the Rüsch tube were more successful (28.8?%) than those with the Covidien tube (18.8?%). Placing the tracheal tube tip ventrally, the Rüsch tube was twice as successful as the Covidien tube with 16 (80?%) versus 8 attempts (40?%, p?=?0.011). There was no correlation between professional experience and intubation success (p?=?0.362).

Tube insertion via an airway exchange catheter or a fiberoptic bronchoscope is a basic technique in anesthesia. Knowledge about the difficulties and their prevention are essential for every anesthetist. The gap between the airway exchange catheter, the fiber bronchoscope and the tube diameters is one of the major reasons for tube tip impingement. This investigation showed that intubation success via a tube exchange catheter, as investigated in an intubation mannequin, is considerably influenced by the tracheal tube tip position. A 90° anticlockwise rotation, placing the tracheal tube tip ventrally, considerably increased intubation success. This is of particular importance if an anesthesia department has no appropriately sized tube exchange catheters or fiber bronchoscope for every age group of patients.