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The Strathprints institutional repository is a digital archive of University of Strathclyde's Open Access research outputs. Strathprints provides access to thousands of Open Access research papers by University of Strathclyde researchers, including by researchers from the Department of Computer & Information Sciences involved in mathematically structured programming, similarity and metric search, computer security, software systems, combinatronics and digital health.

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The effect of pilot balloon design on estimation of safe tracheal tube cuff pressure

Janossy, K.M. and Pullen, J. and Young, D. and Bell, G. (2010) The effect of pilot balloon design on estimation of safe tracheal tube cuff pressure. Anaesthesia, 65 (8). pp. 785-791. ISSN 0003-2409

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Abstract

We studied the effect of pilot balloon design on the ability of experienced anaesthetists to assess and inflate tracheal tube cuffs to safe pressures. A model trachea was designed, incorporating a degree of compliance and an air leak, to evaluate six different pilot balloons grafted onto identical tracheal tubes. Pilot balloons were inflated to one of four pressures and anaesthetists were asked to estimate whether the pressure was acceptable, too low or too high. Anaesthetists were then asked to inflate the cuff of each tube. Overall, 103 (42.9%) of anaesthetists' assessments of tracheal tube cuff pressures were correct (33% correct would be expected by chance, p = 0.002). Pressures generated by anaesthetists inflating tracheal tube cuffs were very variable. Median (IQR [range]) pressures for each pilot balloon ranged from 29 (17-43 [9-56]) cmH(2)O to 74 (49-114 [4-140]) cmH(2)O (p < 0.001). The design of the pilot balloon significantly affects anaesthetists' ability to inflate tracheal tube cuffs to safe pressures.