The esophageal tracheal Combitube (ETC) (Sheridan Catheter Corp.) ( Fig 14z5.^) is a plastic twin-lumen tube with a proximal low-pressure cuff that seals the pharyngeal area and a distal cuff that seals the esophagus, allowing ventilation between the cuffs. The proximal seal also removes the need for a facemask and, as compared with the PTLA, minimizes dental damage to the cuff. The distal cuff is similar to an ETT and serves to seal either the esophagus or the trachea when inflated. If the distal tube enters the esophagus, perforations in the esophageal lumen serve to ventilate the patient. If the trachea is intubated, the patient is ventilated directly, as with the cuffed ETT.
Studies show that by comparison to the simple oral airway, the EOAs are superior in preventing regurgitation and thus aspiration. Compared with the ETT, ventilation and oxygenation studies reveal varying results but suggest that the EOAs are adequate during cardiac arrest. 3 However, the method of choice for airway management for both hospital and prehospital therapy remains direct oral endotracheal intubation.
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