What Is Endotracheal Intubation?

In some cases, people go unconscious or where they are unable to breathe on their own. This is an emergency where immediate treatment is needed. In such cases, doctors use endotracheal intubation (EI) – a procedure to help patients breathe on their own. It is done to maintain an open airway and stop suffocation. This procedure is done using endotracheal tube so that the supply of oxygen is provided to patients with respiratory problems.

In endotracheal intubations, doctors first administer a heavy dose of anesthesia to patients, then place a flexible plastic tube into the trachea or windpipe (either through the nose or mouth) to help in breathing. People often face difficulty in breathing when their trachea or windpipe is either damaged or blocked. This is why EI is used, or this is why this procedure becomes necessary for bringing ease in breathing.

Endotracheal Intubation (1)

Endotracheal intubation is done to ventilate the lungs by allowing air to pass to and from the lungs. The tubes used in this procedure are connected to ventilator machines to facilitate artificial respiration. It is mostly done during surgeries as patients are unconscious and often critically ill. It is also needed in cases individuals are unable to respire with ease on their own.

Why is endotracheal intubation done?

We know how emergency medical situation can strike anyone and anytime. In some cases, people become unconscious and are unable to breathe on their own. This is when endotracheal intubation becomes important. This procedure is also used in some other cases as well and not only to facilitate ease of breathing.

Here are some of the reasons why endotracheal intubation is needed –

  • It’s mostly done to open the airways to help patients receive oxyge
  • Doctors use this procedure to open the airways so that anesthetics or medication can be administered
  • The procedure is also done to protect the patients’ lungs
  • EI is helpful in cases where someone is having problem in breathing
  • It’s done in cases when someone has stopped breathing
  • The procedure is also very common in cases patients need a ventilator for breathing
  • It’s done to support breathing when patients suffer from some illness such as pneumonia,emphysema or heart failure
  • Fit for cases when someone has a collapsed lung
  • Helpful for removing blockages from the airway
  • Helpful in lung protection in cases where patients are at risk of breathing in fluids

Complications associated endotracheal intubation?

Endotracheal intubation is a complex procedure and it should only be done by a specialized doctor. It’s often prone to risks and complications and that’s why, no laxity should be shown on this front.

Here are some of complications that may occur during Endotracheal Intubation –

  • Adequate respirations won’t happen if the tube is not placed with care
  • Wrong placement of the tube can lead to cardiac arrest or brain damage
  • Pneumonia and ARDS can be caused due to the aspiration of stomach contents
  • Pneumothorax and inadequate ventilation can happen of the tube is placed too deep
  • The tube placement can also cause damage to the teeth, vocal cords or the tissues in the throat
shares