Experience With a New Device for Clearing Mucus From the Endotracheal Tube

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Partial or total obstruction of an endotracheal tube (ETT) by mucus can cause severe respiratory distress, hypoxemia, or death. Signs of an obstructed ETT include increased ventilation pressure, changes in the ventilator graphics, SpO2 decrease, and cardiovascular changes. We present 3 patients whose ETTs were partially obstructed by mucus. In each case the patient displayed adverse effects from the obstruction, but once the obstruction was removed they showed dramatic improvement. In each case we used a new device (Rescue Cath, Omneotech, Tavernier, Florida) designed to remove mucus from the ETT lumen. The 3 cases demonstrate that the device is effective and capable of relieving the adverse effects of ETT mucus obstruction.

Keywords: endotracheal tube occlusion; mucus plug

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.4187/respcare.00642

Affiliations: Department of Respiratory Care, St Francis Medical Center, Cape Girardeau, Missouri, USA

Publication date: April 1, 2011

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