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DEFINITION 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 serves as an open passage through the upper airway. The process of inserting the tube is called endotracheal intubation.
PURPOSE The purpose of endotracheal intubation is to permit air to pass freely to and from the lungs in order to ventilate the lungs. Endotracheal tubes is connected to a ventilator, which delivers oxygen to the lungs.There are many reasons why an endotracheal tube may be placed,this include; - To support breathing for patient with respiratory distress - General surgery - To protect airway against aspiration - To visualize the airway - Foreign body removal
Intubation During intubation, a physician usually stands at the head of the bed looking towards the patient's feet and with the patient lying flat. The positioning will vary depending on the setting and whether the procedure is being done with an adult or child. With children, a jaw thrust is often used.
The endotracheal tube with the assistance of a lighted laryngoscope is inserted through the mouth after moving the tongue out of the way. The scope is then carefully threaded down between the vocal cords and into the lower trachea.
When it's thought that the endotracheal tube is in the proper location, the doctor will listen to the patient's lungs and upper abdomen to make sure that the endotracheal tube was not inadvertently inserted into the esophagus. Other signs that suggest the tube is in the proper position may include seeing chest movement with ventilation and fogging in the tube.
When a doctor is reasonably sure the tube is in position, a balloon cuff is inflated to keep the tube from moving out of place. (In infants, a balloon may not be needed). The tube is then taped to the patient's face and patient is connected to a mechanical ventilator.
AFTER PROCEDURE After the endotracheal tube is in place and a patient connected to a ventilator, health care providers will continue to monitor the tubing, settings, and provide breathing treatments and suctioning as needed. Careful attention to oral care will also be provided. Due to the location of the tube, patients who are conscious will be unable to talk while the tube is in place.
COMPLICATIONS - Bleeding from the mouth - Infection - Temporary hoarseness after removing the tube - Pneumothorax - Tracheal stenosis - Vocal cord paralysis - Tracheomalacia - Persistent need for ventilatory support - Atelectasis Kindly read and hope it will be useful. Thanks