The authors have no funding, financial relationships, or conflicts of interest to disclose.
How I do it
Removal of obstructing T-tube and stabilization of the airway†
Article first published online: 25 APR 2011
Copyright © 2011 The American Laryngological, Rhinological, and Otological Society, Inc.
Volume 121, Issue 5, pages 1003–1005, May 2011
How to Cite
Athavale, S. M., Dang, J., Rangarajan, S. and Garrett, G. (2011), Removal of obstructing T-tube and stabilization of the airway. The Laryngoscope, 121: 1003–1005. doi: 10.1002/lary.21458
- Issue published online: 25 APR 2011
- Article first published online: 25 APR 2011
- Manuscript Accepted: 19 NOV 2010
- Manuscript Revised: 14 NOV 2010
- Manuscript Received: 3 SEP 2010
- Montgomery T-tube;
- tracheal stenosis;
- subglottic stenosis;
- airway obstruction
Although they are extremely effective in maintaining tracheal and subglottic patency, T-tubes themselves can result in airway obstruction from plugging. Many practitioners educate patients on placing a small (5.0) endotracheal tube (ETT) through the tracheal limb of the T-tube if they develop airway obstruction. Unfortunately, this can be a difficult task to complete during acute airway obstruction. In this article, we describe a simple set of steps for rapid relief of airway obstruction and stabilization of the airway in the event of T-tube obstruction. This method requires removal of the T-tube with a Kelly clamp and stabilization of the airway with a tracheostomy tube. Although it is simple, we hope that this technique will prevent morbidity and mortality from acute airway obstructions related to T-tubes.