The Science Journal of the American Association for Respiratory Care

2003 OPEN FORUM Abstracts

EVALUATION OF PEDIATRIC ENDOTRACHEAL TUBES FOR ACCURACY OF MEASUREMENT MARKS

Marilyn V. Meyer, BAH, RRT-NPS
Mayo Foundation, Rochester, MN.

Background:
Purchasing contracts sometimes mandate use of one product over another assuming equivalent quality and features. Accuracy is paramount for endotracheal tube placement and suction depth in the pediatric patient population. Centimeter markings are commonly found on most brands of endotracheal tubes (ETT's). Two brands of endotracheal tubes were compared for frequency of markings and accuracy of length.

Method: Centimeter marks from packaged Mallinckrodt and Sheridan ETT's were checked for accuracy against a Keuffel and Esser (K&E) centimeter ruler. The ruler was secured on a platform and a 2.5, 3.0, and 3.5 ET tubes from both Mallinckrodt and Sheridan were aligned next to it. The Mallinckrodt tubes had triangle marks to indicate where the measurement should occur. The Sheridan tubes had no marks so measurement was to the right of the numbers printed on the tube.


RESULTS:

    S       M       SCC  
R 2.5 3 3.5 R 2.5 3 3.5 R 2.5 3 3.5
6 n/m n/m n/m 6 short accurate n/m 6 accurate accurate accurate
7 n/m n/m n/m 7 n/m accurate short 7 accurate accurate accurate
8 long accurate n/m 8 short n/m short 8 accurate accurate accurate
9 n/m n/m short 9 n/m accurate n/m 9 accurate accurate accurate
10 long accurate n/m 10 accurate n/m short 10 accurate accurate accurate
11 n/m short short 11 n/m accurate n/m 11 n/m accurate accurate



S=Sheridan; M=Mallinckrodt; R=K&E centimeter ruler; SCC=Sheridan Ped-Soft; n/m=no mark

CONCLUSION: There is a difference in the number and accuracy of standard depth markings between manufacturers of endotracheal tubes. When product changes are mandated due to purchasing contracts, the end user should be involved in the decision prior to change. It is critical to have precise documentation of pediatric ET tubes to help prevent accidental extubations, edema, bleeding, and granulomas. Respiratory care practitioners and other healthcare providers depend on accurate ET tube measurements for proper suction depth and placement in the trachea.

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