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VOLUME 18 , ISSUE 5 ( May, 2014 ) > List of Articles


A prolonged observational study of tracheal tube displacements: Benchmarking an incidence <0.5-1% in a medical-surgical adult intensive care unit

Pandurang C. Tekawade, Shruti S. Nath, Sharad S. Pachpute, Sanjay S. Saverkar, Rupali A. Bhise, Aarti C. Chavan, Sholly J. Varghese, Vidya U. Kantak, Rohini V. Kshirsagar, Vaishali A. Neve, Samona O. D′souza

Keywords : Airway accidents, endotracheal tube, tracheostomy tube, unplanned extubation

Citation Information : Tekawade PC, Nath SS, Pachpute SS, Saverkar SS, Bhise RA, Chavan AC, Varghese SJ, Kantak VU, Kshirsagar RV, Neve VA, D′souza SO. A prolonged observational study of tracheal tube displacements: Benchmarking an incidence <0.5-1% in a medical-surgical adult intensive care unit. Indian J Crit Care Med 2014; 18 (5):273-277.

DOI: 10.4103/0972-5229.132466

License: CC BY-ND 3.0

Published Online: 01-05-2014

Copyright Statement:  Copyright © 2014; The Author(s).


Background and Aims: Tracheal tubes are commonly used in intensive care unit (ICU) and lead to complications like displacements. The primary aim of the study was to evaluate if the rate of tracheal tube displacement benchmarked at <1% per patient and <0.5% per tracheal tube day, could be sustained over a prolonged period. The secondary aim was to document the patterns of all forms airway accident and to evaluate their consequences. Subjects and Methods: This was a prospective observational study of Intubated and ventilated patients in a General Medical-Surgical Adult ICU. The incidence of accidental extubation, self extubation, partial displacement and blockages of tracheal tubes were recorded. Results: The overall tracheal tube displacement rate was 61/10,112 (0.6%) per patient and 61/28,464 (0.22%) per tracheal tube day. There were 30 additional incidents of blockage, kinking or biting of the tracheal tube. Physiological consequences-69 were mild, 10 moderate, 12 major and one death. Of the 91 accidents, 30 were partly and 30 were completely preventable. 76 incidents involved an endotracheal tube (54 displaced, 12 blocked and 10 bitten-kinked) and 15 a tracheostomy tube (seven displaced and eight blocked). Accidents were more common in medical than surgical patients (medical = 48, cardiac surgical = 17 and other surgical/trauma = 26). Conclusion: Tracheal tube displacement rate in a mixed medical-surgical adult ICU was maintained below the pre-set benchmark of <1% per patient and <0.5% per intubated day over nearly a decade.

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