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Background : Inaccurate intracuff pressure of endotracheal tube (with measurements being too high or too low) is the main cause of respiratory complications in intubated patients, such as aspiration, tidal volume leakage, tracheal is chemia, necrosis or stenosis. Subjective assessments by physicians or nurses have very low reliability and are inaccurate. Objective measurements are more reliable, can reduce respiratory complication and should be the standard method used.
Objective : To increase awareness among nureses of the complications of inaccurate intracuff pressure assessments; to encourage the use by nurese of a simple apparatus that provides more accrate measurements ; and to encourage the use of this method as a standard procedure for intubated patient.
Design : Descriptive study..
Setting : Srinagarind Hospital, Faculty of Medicine, Khon Kaen University.
Subjects : 157 of 289 nurese (54.3%) who cared for intubated patients between 1 September 1997 and 30 April 1998.
Meawurements: Date were collected by questionnaires before and after group meetings in which intracuff pressure measurements using a simple apparatus were demonstrated. The data were presented as percentages and means.
Results : 84.1% of nurses accepted and agreed to use a new method. 93.6% of them accepted the method for routine nursing care.
Conclusions : A large mafority of nurses accepted the objective measurements instead of their previous subjective assessments and thought that they should be the standard method for routine nursing care. The objective method can prevent or reduce respiratory complications in intubated patients.
Key words : High volume low pressure endotracheal tube cuff, Intracuff pressure, Measurement, Apparatus.