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J Surg Educ. 2007 Jul-Aug;64(4):237-40.

Review of tracheo-esophageal fistula associated with endotracheal intubation.

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Department of Surgery, Methodist Health Systems, Dallas, Texas 75203, USA.


Tracheo-esophageal fistula (TEF) formation is a rare complication of either endotracheal intubation or tracheostomy. This complication is generally thought to be iatrogenic and occurs in less than 1% of patients. High-volume, low-pressure cuffs have made TEFs an infrequent occurrence; however, it still poses as a potential life-threatening condition. Evaluation and close monitoring of endotracheal tube (ETT) cuff pressures is an area of significance commonly overlooked and/or underemphasized by surgical residents. To illustrate and review this clinical problem, a case of an iatrogenic TEF as a consequence of excessive endotracheal cuff pressures is reported.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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