There is a correlation between endotracheal cuff pressure and airway complication; therefore, cuff pressure measurement is of an essential importance. The gold standard technique is measuring the cuff pressure by a calibrated manometer. However, there are several methods that injects air into balloon pilot and measures the cuff pressure. The aim of this study is to compare the tracheal cuff pressure measurement by two methods fixed volume and minimal leak test (MLT).
This descriptive study was performed at the emergency department on 110 patients. Patients were randomized into two groups. For one group, fixed volume technique and for the other group MLT was used.
Mean cuff pressure was 46.07±23.54 cmH2O in the fixed volume group and 33.72±9.14 cmH2O in the MLT group (P=0.05) which is significantly higher in the fixed volume group (P=0.028). In addition, 56.4% and 78.2% of the subjects had normal cuff pressure in the fixed volume group and MLT group, respectively; indicating a significantly higher rate in MLT group (P=0.025).
Both techniques cause above normal intracuff pressure; however, MLT produces more acceptable pressure than fixed volume. It seems that the volume of 10 cc produces high pressures; therefore, fixed values may yield more appropriate results in lower volumes.