This is what you need to know about endotracheal intubation

By | January 23, 2019

Endotracheal intubation is a medical procedure for inserting a breathing apparatus in the form of tube into the trachea through the mouth or nose. Intubation aims to keep the patient breathing during the anesthesia procedure during surgery , or in patients with severe conditions who can experience difficulty breathing.

Endotracheal intubation is generally performed on patients who are unconscious, coma, or unable to breathe on their own. Intubation can help keep the patient’s respiratory tract open and prevent patients from experiencing oxygen deficiency due to respiratory failure.

Intubation Procedure

The intubation procedure is one of the artificial breathing techniques that is very important for saving lives. When the intubation procedure is carried out, the doctor will give medicines, such as general anesthesia and muscle relaxants, to facilitate intubation. The patient is then laid down, then the doctor will open the patient’s mouth and insert a device called the laryngoscope to open the airway and see the vocal cords.

After the vocal cords are visible and open, the doctor will insert a flexible plastic tube called an endotracheal tube, from the mouth into the windpipe. The size of the tube is adjusted for the age and size of the patient’s throat. In the process of intubation, if there is difficulty in inserting a tube through the mouth, the doctor will insert a breathing apparatus in the form of a special tube through the nose to the respiratory tract.

Furthermore, the endotracheal tube will be connected to a temporary breathing pump bag or to a breathing apparatus (ventilator), which will push oxygen into the patient’s lungs.

After the intubation procedure is performed, the doctor will evaluate whether the breathing tube is properly installed, by looking at the movement of the breath and listening to the breath sounds in both lungs using a stethoscope. If needed, the doctor can do an X-ray examination to make sure the endotracheal tube is properly installed.

Interest Procedures Intubation Endotracheal

There are various purposes for intubation, namely:

  • Remove obstacles in the respiratory tract.
  • Open the respiratory tract so that doctors can deliver oxygen, or drugs to the patient’s body.
  • Helps breathing in patients with diseases or conditions that can threaten breathing, such as status epilepticus , status asthmaticus (emergency in asthma that does not improve with treatment), anaphylaxis, severe pneumonia , COPD , pulmonary swelling, severe facial and neck injuries, pulmonary embolism , failure heart , severe head injury, or in shocked patients .
  • Make it easy for doctors to see the upper respiratory tract.
  • Prevent the entry of food, stomach acid, saliva, and other foreign objects into the lungs, when the patient is unconscious.
  • Provide breathing assistance to patients undergoing surgery with general anesthesia.

However, in some cases, endotracheal intubation cannot be performed. Conditions that make a person unable to be intubated include not being able to open the mouth, severe neck injury, total airway resistance, failed intubation after repeated attempts, and airway deformity.

Possible Risks Occur in Endotracheal Intubation Procedure

Although it is one of the most important actions to be taken to provide breathing assistance to patients, endotracheal intubation also has risks, namely:

  • Bleeding and injury to the trunk of the throat, mouth, tongue, teeth and vocal cords.
  • The breathing tube does not enter the throat, but into the esophagus. As a result, breathing assistance given cannot reach the lungs.
  • Gathering of fluid in tissues and organs.
  • Aspiration pneumonia.
  • Sore throat.
  • The voice becomes hoarse.
  • Erosion or erosion of soft tissue in the airways due to long-term intubation.
  • Dependence of the patient on the ventilator, so the patient cannot breathe normally and needs a tracheostomy .
  • The occurrence of tears in the chest cavity that causes the lungs to not function.
  • Allergic reactions to anesthesia are used.

Things to Look For After Endotracheal Intubation

After undergoing endotracheal intubation procedure, the patient will experience a sore throat and difficulty in swallowing but will recover soon after the endotracheal tube is removed. If you experience some of the symptoms below after endotracheal intubation, contact your doctor immediately:

  • The face is swollen.
  • Chest pain.
  • Difficulty speaking.
  • Difficulty swallowing.
  • Breath becomes tight.
  • Severe sore throat.

Endotracheal intubation is a procedure that is intended to keep the respiratory tract of the patient open, and to assist in the provision of respiratory assistance. If you feel anxious before undergoing an endotracheal intubation procedure, consult a surgeon or anesthetist to get an explanation of the benefits and risks that might occur.

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