Impending Complete Airway Obstruction from a Reinforced Orotracheal Tube: a Case Report
Reinforced tubes are commonly used to minimize the opportunity of upper airway obstruction in patients at risk. There are a few reports of the airway obstruction resulted from kinked reinforced tubes. This report describes the obstruction of a reinforced tube in an adult patient who underwent tonsillectomy. Under general anesthesia; an armoured endotracheal tube was inserted into the trachea uneventfully. A few minutes after starting the surgery, the anesthesia machine detected a high airway pressure and an increased ETCO2 (end-tidal CO2) up to 50 mmHg. Further evaluation showed spiral wire damage resulted from Mouth Gag device that led to airway obstruction. Early anticipation of the complications leads to proper management of such critical and life threatening complications and prevention of hypoxia, hypercapnia, pneumothorax, and pulmonary edema. Based on our experience using an armoured endotracheal tube in tonsillectomy does not guarantee a safe airway and intensive monitoring is necessary.
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