Complications following nasotracheal intubation using cuffed polyvinyl chloride tube: a prospective cross sectional study

  • Fidelis A. Onyekwulu
  • Jones N. Nwosu
  • Chibuzo C. Uguru


Background: To examine the complications following nasotracheal intubation by documenting the nasal traumas observed with the use of untreated cuffed polyvinyl chloride tube in unprepared nostrils.

Methods: Patients who had maxillofacial surgeries under general anesthesia, muscle relaxation and nasotracheal intubation were included in the study. Nasotracheal intubation was carried out after induction of anesthesia was effected with intravenous propofol and suxamethonium by an Anesthetist using well lubricated cuffed polyvinyl chloride tube. Sizes 6.0, 6.5 and 7.0mm were inserted in females while sizes 7.0 and 7.5mm were inserted in males. Occasionally, the natural curve of the tube guides it through the cords without the aid of Magill forceps. Anterior rhinoscopy was performed by otolaryngologist 24 hours after surgery. Results were subjected to statistical analysis.

Results: Sixty four patients were included in the study. They were between the ages of 21 and 63 years (mean 33.2 ± 14.1 years); they were 39 males and 25 females. The most frequently used nasotracheal tube (NT) was size 7.0mm internal diameter. Epistaxis was noticed in 52 (81.2%) patients. There were no statistically significant differences in the incidence of epistaxis observed in males and females, and also between right and left nostrils. A total of 46.8% of nasal trauma were inferior turbinate trauma involving the inferior medial aspect.

Conclusion: The use of untreated cuffed polyvinyl chloride tube for nasotracheal intubation in unprepared nostrils is associated with a high incidence of epistaxis and nasal trauma.

Keywords: nasotracheal intubation, epistaxis, nasal trauma


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eISSN: 1115-2613