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Anaesthesiol Intensive Ther. 2019;51(1):74-76. doi: 10.5603/AIT.a2019.0008.

Can we regulate endotracheal tube cuff pressure using an anaesthetic machine?

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Department of Anaesthesiology, Universidad del Valle, Cali, Colombia.


Endotracheal tube obstruction caused by cuff hyperinflation can be a dangerous but preventable complication of the airway management. Some authors suggest that a trial of cuff deflation should be considered in algorithms for the management of patients with ventilation difficulty. Although it would be a good strategy, we think that preventive measures such as the regulation of the endotracheal tube (ETT) cuff pressure warrant further discussion and should be more propagated. It is known that the measurement of the ETT cuff pressure has shown to be useful in the prevention of postoperative pain, hoarseness, aspiration of secretions, subglottic stenosis and tracheal fistulas. However, the routine measurement of the cuff pressure is usually difficult given the low availability of the equipment designed for this purpose, the cost of acquisition, the lack of maintenance-calibration and the risk of cross-infection with use in multiple patients.


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