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    Endotracheal intubation

    Intubation - endotracheal

    Endotracheal intubation is a medical procedure in which a tube is placed into the windpipe (trachea), through the mouth or the nose. In most emergency situations it is placed through the mouth.

    See also: Bronchoscopy, Tracheostomy

    How the Test is Performed

    After endotracheal intubation, you will likely be placed on a breathing machine.

    If you are awake after the procedure, your health care provider may give you medicine to reduce your anxiety or discomfort.

    Why the Test is Performed

    Endotracheal intubation is done to:

    • Open the airway to give oxygen, medication, or anesthesia
    • Remove blockages from the airway
    • Allow the doctor to get a better view of the upper airway
    • Protect the lungs in certain patients

    Risks

    Risks for any surgery are:

    • Bleeding
    • Infection

    Additional risks for this procedure include trauma to the voice box (larynx), thyroid gland, vocal cords and trachea (windpipe), or esophagus. Puncture or perforation (tearing) of body parts in the chest cavity, leading to lung collapse, may also occur.

    References

    McGill JW, Reardon RF. Tracheal intubation. In: Roberts JR, Hedges JR, eds. Clinical Procedures in Emergency Medicine. 5th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2009:chap 4.

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    • Endotracheal intubation

      illustration

      • Endotracheal intubation

        illustration

      A Closer Look

        Tests for Endotracheal intubation

        Review Date: 8/16/2011

        Reviewed By: Jacob L. Heller, MD, MHA, Emergency Medicine, Virginia Mason Medical Center, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc..

        The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
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