ETT is an acronym for "endotracheal tube," a medical device used in the field of respiratory care and anesthesiology. The endotracheal tube is a flexible tube inserted into a patient's trachea (windpipe) through the mouth or nose to provide an artificial airway. It is a crucial tool in managing patients who require mechanical ventilation, have difficulty breathing, or need general anesthesia during surgical procedures.
The ETT serves as a conduit for delivering air or oxygen directly into the lungs. It consists of a long tube made of various materials like plastic or silicone, which is selected based on the patient's age, size, and medical condition. The tube has an inflatable cuff near the distal end that is inflated after intubation to create airtight sealing within the trachea, preventing air leakage or aspiration of fluids.
The ETT is sized appropriately to fit the patient's airway and the desired airflow requirements. It is connected to a mechanical ventilator or anesthetic machine, allowing for the controlled delivery of oxygen and other gases. Additionally, the tube may have additional lumens or channels for various purposes such as suctioning secretions, monitoring lung pressures, or passing medication.
The ETT placement is a skill that requires competency and precision, often performed by specialized healthcare professionals. Careful monitoring and frequent assessment of the patient's respiratory status are essential when an ETT is in place to ensure proper oxygenation and ventilation.