Martin-Flores, M., Sakai, D. M., Marra Muto, R. et al. 2022. A flexible endotracheal tube introducer improves first-attempt success of intubation in cats by novice anesthetists. Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 260(11), 1316-1323.
OBJECTIVE: To test whether the use of a flexible endotracheal tube introducer (ETI) facilitates intubation of cats by veterinary students with little or no experience. ANIMALS: 125 healthy cats. PROCEDURES: Cats were sedated with dexmedetomidine and morphine IM, and anesthesia was induced with propofol. They were randomly assigned to be intubated by supervised veterinary students using an ETI within a tracheal tube or an endotracheal tube alone (3.0, 3.5, or 4.0 internal diameter sizes). Success rate at first attempt, number of attempts to intubate (up to 3), and time to intubate were recorded. Multivariate logistic regression was used to test associations between several factors such as use of an ETI, cat’s weight, endotracheal tube size, administration of ketamine for sedation, and first-attempt success. Significance was considered when P < 0.05. RESULTS: Success rate for the first attempt was higher with an ETI (79% [51/64) than without it (46% [28/61]), and attempts to intubate were fewer when an ETI was used (both P < 0.001). Time to intubate did not differ between groups (ETI, 30 seconds [4 to 143 seconds]; endotracheal tube, 28 seconds [5 to 180 seconds]). Use of an ETI was positively associated with improved first-attempt success, and the 3.0-mm internal diameter of the tube was negatively associated (both P ≤ 0.001). CLINICAL RELEVANCE: The use of a flexible ETI improved the success of first-attempt intubation of cats by veterinary students. This technique may help minimize the number of attempts during intubation and incidence of complications that could arise from multiple attempts.