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Anesth Analg. 1993 Sep;77(3):589-91.

Evaluation of foil coverings for protecting plastic endotracheal tubes from the potassium-titanyl-phosphate laser.

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Department of Anesthesiology, Rush-Presbyterian-St. Luke's Medical Center, Chicago, IL 60612.


The potassium-titanyl-phosphate laser is being used for airway surgery and could cause an endotracheal tube fire. To determine whether five different metallic foil tapes or the Laser-Guard protective wrap would protect polyvinylchloride (PVC) endotracheal tubes from this laser, it was set to a power of 18 W and aimed at the wrapped endotracheal tube under study for up to 1 min while 5 L/min of oxygen flowed through the endotracheal tube. A plain (unwrapped) PVC endotracheal tube was studied also. The plain PVC endotracheal tube was ignited by the laser after 14 s. Potassium-titanyl-phosphate laser radiation did not significantly affect the nonadhesive sides of the foil tapes tested or the Laser-Guard covering. However, potassium-titanyl-phosphate laser radiation caused ignition or melting of underlying PVC endotracheal tubes when it was applied to the endotracheal tubes with the adhesive side of the foil tapes facing outward. It is concluded that only the Laser-Guard protective coating adequately protected the PVC endotracheal tubes tested under the conditions of this experiment.

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