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Anesth Analg. 2013 Dec;117(6):1325-7. doi: 10.1213/ANE.0b013e3182a7cd3d.

Airway exchange failure and complications with the use of the Cook Airway Exchange Catheter®: a single center cohort study of 1177 patients.

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From the Department of Anesthesiology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan.


There are limited data on rates of failure and airway injury with the use of airway exchange catheters. We performed a single-center retrospective analysis of airway exchange catheters to determine the incidence and associated factors for tube exchange failure and airway injury. Among 1177 cases, failed intubation during attempted tube exchange was noted in 73/527 (13.8%). Airway exchange failure rates were greatest during exchange catheter use for double-lumen tube insertion and when intubation was attempted over the catheter postoperatively. Pneumothorax was noted after 1.5% of attempted tube exchanges. Difficult tube exchange was encountered in 6 of 8 patients with pneumothorax.

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