Covidien announced that a new in vivo study concluded that the Mallinckrodt™ TaperGuard™ endotracheal tube provided significant protection from microaspiration and lung damage compared to the Mallinckrodt™ Hi-Lo endotracheal tube. The findings were presented at the annual International Symposium on Intensive Care and Emergency Medicine (ISICEM), in Brussels.
The study - Do Endotracheal Tubes Prevent Microaspiration? - by Lichtenthal et al. compared the Hi-Lo tube, with a barrelshaped cuff, and the new TaperGuard tube, which features a taper-shaped cuff. In the study, subjects were intubated prior to surgery with either the Hi-Lo or TaperGuard tubes. Blue dye was injected above the tubes, and afterward, the subjects' trachea and lungs were evaluated for dye leak, bronchitis, ulceration and haemorrhagic pneumonia. The researchers found that the TaperGuard tube significantly outperformed the Hi-Lo tube in reducing dye leak and bronchitis, and also offered improved, potentially clinically significant, protection in the remaining categories.
By providing a more effective fluid seal, the TaperGuard tube reduces the risk of microaspiration, which is a common problem in intubation that may lead to pulmonary complications, including ventilator- associated pneumonia (VAP) and post-operative pneumonia.