Endotracheal Intubation - Complications

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Did you experience any complications from endotracheal intubation? If so, what were those complications?

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What are the complications of endotracheal intubation?

If the tube is inadvertently placed in the esophagus (right behind the trachea), adequate respirations will not occur. Brain damage, cardiac arrest, and death can occur. Aspiration of stomach contents can result in pneumonia and ARDS. Placement of the tube too deep can result in only one lung being ventilated and can result in a pneumothorax as well as inadequate ventilation. During endotracheal tube placement, damage can also occur to the teeth, the soft tissues in the back of the throat, as well as the vocal cords.

This procedure should be performed by a physician with experience in intubation. In the vast majority of cases of intubation, no significant complications occur.

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See what others are saying

Comment from: 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: January 13

In 1968 I had to undergo major surgery in which the doctors had to place an endotracheal tube. My vocal chords were damaged. I couldn't talk above a whisper for many months. My family enjoyed it. Would I have the surgery again if I needed despite the risk? You bet. A small price to pay for life. I can't thank my doctors enough.

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Comment from: Mike H, 75 or over Male (Patient) Published: July 17

After a hernia operation a few years ago I was told that after receiving the general anesthetic they had a problem with inserting the breathing tube. It took around 15 minutes and during that time breathing was assisted with bellows. They told me in future to inform the surgeon of this prior to further operations. It would maybe mean a local anesthetic in lieu.

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