A comparison of three methods for estimating appropriate tracheal tube depth in children
University of California, San Diego, San Diego, California, United States Pediatric Anesthesia
(Impact Factor: 1.85).
10/2005; 15(10):846-51. DOI: 10.1111/j.1460-9592.2005.01577.x
Estimating appropriate tracheal tube (TT) depth following tracheal intubation in infants and children presents a challenge to anesthesia practitioners. We evaluated three methods commonly used by anesthesiologists to determine which one most reliably results in appropriate positioning.
After IRB approval, 60 infants and children scheduled for fluoroscopic procedures requiring general anesthesia were enrolled. Patients were randomly assigned to one of three groups: (1) deliberate mainstem intubation with subsequent withdrawal of the TT 2 cm above the carina ('mainstem' method); (2) alignment of the double black line marker near the TT tip at the vocal cords ('marker' method); or (3) placement of the TT at a depth determined by the formula: TT depth (cm) = 3 x TT size (mmID) ('formula' method). TT tip position was determined to be 'appropriate' if located between the sternoclavicular junction (SCJ) and 0.5 cm above the carina as determined by fluoroscopy. Risk ratios were calculated, and data were analysed by the chi-square test accepting statistical significance at P < 0.05.
The mainstem method was associated with the highest rate of appropriate TT placement (73%) compared with both the marker method (53%, P = 0.03, RR = 1.56) and the formula method (42%, P = 0.006, RR = 2.016). There was no difference between the marker and formula methods overall (P = 0.2, RR = 1.27). Analysis of age-stratified data demonstrated higher success with the marker method compared with the formula method for patients 3-12 months (P = 0.0056, RR = 4.0).
Deliberate mainstem intubation most reliably results in appropriate TT depth in infants and children.
Available from: Stephen Derek Playfor
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ABSTRACT: Background : The aim of this study was to determine the accuracy of standard techniques for estimating oral and nasal tracheal tube length in children and to devise more accurate predictive formulae that can be used at the bedside.Methods : Data were collected from 255 children who required tracheal intubation whilst on the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit over a period of 1 year. Age, weight, the final length of the tracheal tube and the internal diameter were documented. Patients with a tracheostomy were excluded from the study.Results : Using linear regression the following formulae best predicted final tracheal tube length. For children over 1 year of age: For children below 1 year of age: Conclusions : Current Advanced Paediatric Life Support guidelines underestimate the appropriate tracheal tube lengths for orotracheal intubation in children over 1 year of age. Similarly, the novel weight-based formulae for tracheal tube lengths in children below the age of 1 year proved more accurate than standard reference charts. We therefore recommend that these new formulae are prospectively evaluated.
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ABSTRACT: The unexpected displacement of the endotracheal tube (ETT) as a result of neck movements can cause endobronchial intubation and accidental extubation. The ETT is subject to movement even after its proper placement has been confirmed either clinically or radiographically.
One-hundred-seven children (2-8 yr) were divided randomly into three groups. In Group I, the ETT was entered into the main bronchus and withdrawn until equal sounds in both lung were heard, and then withdrawn 2 cm. In Group II, the ETT position was determined by placing the prescribed marks on the ETT at the level of the vocal cords, and in Group III, by palpating the ETT tip at the suprasternal notch. In all groups, the distance between the ETT tip and the carina was measured using a fiberoptic bronchoscope. The relative ETT tip position along the trachea (carina; 0%, vocal cords; 100%) was assessed in each position during neck movement.
The relative position of the ETT with the patient in the neutral position in Groups I, II, and III was 21.4% +/- 6.7%, 46.5% +/- 13.0%, and 43.4% +/- 11.1%, respectively. In Group I, the relative ETT position after flexion was 9.5% +/- 10.3%, and endobronchial intubation was observed in five children (14.3%). There was no extubation or endobronchial intubation in the other two groups.
Positioning the ETT by auscultation places the ETT more deeply than the midtrachea, which can increase the risk of endobronchial intubation during neck flexion.
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