In this VETgirl online veterinary CE video, we demonstrate how to check an endotracheal tube (ETT) cuff carefully. This is an important, simple procedure that must be performed on every animal that is intubated. Our goal? To inflate the ETT balloon enough so that aspiration of saliva, flush, or gastric contents does not occur, while making sure to prevent overinflation of the ETT balloon. If overinflated, it can result in severe tracheal necrosis and secondary injury.
After sedating the patient, intubating it, and inflating the ETT cuff, we test the tube's cuff with the following steps:
1) Closing the pop off valve transiently so we can bag gently up to 20 mm Hg of water to check for a leak (e.g., decrease in pressure).
2) Once there is no evidence of a leak, opening the pop off vale immediately.
When in doubt, this is a must review video for any dental procedure!