Intraoperative management of ETT and LMA cuff pressures: a survey of anaesthetists’ knowledge, attitude and current practice

  • A De Castro University of KwaZulu-Natal
  • P D Gopalan University of KwaZulu-Natal
Keywords: anaesthesia, cuff manometer, endotracheal, intracuff pressure, intubation, laryngeal mask airway, sore throat, tracheo-laryngeal complications

Abstract

Background: Endotracheal tubes and laryngeal mask airway devices are routinely used during anaesthesia. Inappropriate inflation of cuffs has been shown to cause postoperative airway morbidity, and limiting the pressure decreases the incidence of pharyngo-laryngeal complications. Subjective measurements of cuff pressures correlate poorly to actual pressures, yet the use of objective cuff manometry is not routinely practised. The aim of this study was to determine current clinical practice of cuff inflation as well as the knowledge and attitude of anaesthetists in the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) Discipline of Anaesthesiology and Critical Care. Methods: This was a descriptive, observational study and data were collected using an anonymous self-dministered questionnaire from practising anaesthetists in the UKZN Discipline of Anaesthesiology and Critical Care. Results: A total of 160 anaesthetists participated. The minimal occlusive volume test (38.8%) and the pilot balloon palpation technique (36.3%) were most commonly used. Most participants felt it was important to accurately measure ETT (84.8%) and LMA (56.1%) cuff pressures and that using a cuff manometer should be mandatory (76%). Reasons for not using it routinely included manometers not being readily available. Gaps in knowledge and education were also identified. Conclusion: There is increasing importance placed on quality assurance. Clinical practice varies widely among practitioners with the only consistency being the omission of cuff manometers during routine intraoperative management, despite their proven benefit and efficacy. The authors propose recommendations to facilitate the routine intraoperative use of cuff manometers. (Full text available online at www.medpharm.tandfonline.com/ojaa) South Afr J Anaesth Analg 2016; DOI: 10.1080/22201181.2016.1234664

Author Biographies

A De Castro, University of KwaZulu-Natal
Discipline of Anaesthesiology & Critical Care Nelson R Mandela School of Medicine University of KwaZulu-Natal Durban South Africa
P D Gopalan, University of KwaZulu-Natal
Discipline of Anaesthesiology & Critical Care Nelson R Mandela School of Medicine University of KwaZulu-Natal Durban South Africa
Published
2016-11-07
Section
Research Articles