Year : 2019  |  Volume : 13  |  Issue : 5  |  Page : 684-689

Reliability of ultrasound in confirming endotracheal tube placement as a new and fast tool

Department of Chest, Zagazig University, Zagazig, Egypt

Correspondence Address:
MD Niveen E Zayed
Department of Chest, Zagazig University, Zagazig 44519
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ejb.ejb_79_19

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Background Chest ultrasound has been an important tool for the diagnosis of many chest diseases, and, recently, it became an important tool for confirmation of the site of endotracheal tube placement. In our study, we used the ultrasound for this confirmation and compared this with capnography and clinical examination as gold standards and also with chest radiograph. Patients and methods This is a cross-sectional study conducted in our chest ICU from January 2019 to August 2019. We included 30 chronic obstructive pulmonary disease patients with acute respiratory failure who needed endotracheal intubation according to the protocols. Ultrasound was used to identify and confirm endotracheal tube placement simultaneously with a quantitative waveform capnography (end-tidal carbon dioxide), clinical methods, and chest radiograph. Confirmation of tube placement and time taken for the confirmation were noted by our staff. Results Of the 30 intubation attempts, six (20%) had esophageal intubations. The sensitivity and specificity of diagnosis using ultrasonography were 95.8 and 93.3%, respectively. This was statistically comparable with the other three modalities. The time taken to confirm tube placement with ultrasonography was 7.7±1.6 s compared with waveform capnography, clinical examination, and chest radiograph, which were18.8±2.6, 26.1±3.4, and 73.6±7.7 s, respectively. The time taken by ultrasonography was significantly less. Conclusion Sonar-confirmed endotracheal intubation saves time and life, particularly in patients with low pulmonary blood flow in comparison with other traditional methods of confirmation.

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