List six design features of a standard endotracheal tube which improve its safety.

[Click here to toggle visibility of the answers]

College Answer

  • Clear non-toxic plastic
  • Single use
  • Radio-opaque line so visible on CXR
  • High volume low pressure cuff with pilot tube
  • Murphy’s eye
  • Bevelled tip to assist insertion
  • Centimetre markings to assess depth of insertion
  • Black line to guide insertion to appropriate depth
  • Standard 15mm connector
  • Size labelling on pilot balloon

Discussion

The college answer represents the bare minimum. More detailed discussions of the ETT are also available:

In summary, the safety featues are::

  • Single use item, no risk of cross-infection
  • Standardised 15mm connector to fit all airway devices
  • Low-allergen PVC construction, free of latex
  • Transparent body,to see blood or vomit
  • Markings to indicate depth of insertion
  • Black line to guide insertion to appropriate depth
  • High volume low pressure cuff to seal the trachea
  • Size labelling on pilot balloon
  • Pilot cuff to gauge cuff pressure
  • Rounded atraumatic edges
  • Murphy's eye to protect against occlusion
  • Bevelled tip to assist insertion
  • Radio-opaque line to help gauge position on chest X-rays

References

References