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.
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.
Endotracheal intubation is done to:
Risks for any surgery are:
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.
Intubation - endotracheal
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.
Updated 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..
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