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Assessment of the reliability of intubation and ease of use of the Cook Staged Extubation Set—an observational study

The Townsville Hospital, Townsville, Queensland

Summary

The Staged Extubation Set has recently been introduced by Cook Medical for the management of difficult airway patients who potentially require reintubation; however, its reliability for intubation and ease of use is not reported in the literature. The set contains a wire and reintubation catheter with a central lumen for the wire and oxygenation if required. Reintubation is by a two-stage Seldinger-like technique. After induction of general anaesthesia, 23 low-risk elective surgical patients had the Staged Extubation Wire from the Cook set inserted into their trachea under direct laryngoscopy. The intubation was subsequently completed using the rest of the Staged Extubation Set as designed. Difficult intubation was simulated by intentionally decreasing the laryngeal view. Simulated reintubation failed in 8.3% and significant technical difficulty in simulated reintubation was noted in another 17.3% of intubation sequences. The latter represent probable failures in a clinical difficult reintubation setting. The mean time taken to intubate was 109 seconds. Using the Cook Staged Extubation Set may be inferior to using an airway exchange catheter for reintubation.

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