The intubation depth marker: the confusion of the black line

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SummaryBackgroundEstimation of the correct depth of insertion of a tracheal tube (TT) in children is extremely important. Insertion of an excessive length may result in endobronchial intubation while an inadequate length of insertion may lead to accidental extubation.MethodsWe reviewed TTs commonly used in paediatric practice and also reviewed recommended guidelines for correct depth of insertion.ResultsAmongst the different brands of TTs used, there was a wide discrepancy in the placement of the intubation depth marker. This is important as the intubation depth marker is often used as a guideline for intubation.ConclusionsFor optimal placement we can rely on various formulae and manufacturers' markings on the TTs. Clinical judgement, however, remains the cornerstone of optimal placement.

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