A Comparison of Foam and Air-Filled Endotracheal-Tube Cuffs

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The porimary cause of tracheal damage at the cuff site is high lateral-wall pressure leading to ischemia of the mucosa and its underlying structures. Recently, large-volume, low-pressure endotracheal tube cuffs have been used to minimize this complication. The authors compared the effects of a self-inflating polyurethane-foam cuff with those of a low-pressure, air-filled latex cuff in 35 patients who needed continuous ventilatory support and in 13 mongrel dogs. While the degree of damage caused by the two types of cuffs was not significantly different in dogs, in patients the foam cuff produced significantly less tracheal damage after 24 and 72 hours of continuous intubation.

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