Idea Exchange: Intubation made easier with a catheter

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Feb 01, 2009
By dvm360.com staff

Intubating cats has always been a challenge for me, especially getting the endotracheal tube between the arytenoid cartilage. So now I use a 10-ga, 10 ½-in bitch catheter (Jorgensen Laboratories) as a stylet with the lubricated end sticking through the tube about ½- to 1-cm. Compared with an endotracheal tube stylet, the curve of the catheter is more conducive to proper alignment, and passing the end of the catheter into the trachea is less traumatic. Plus, the catheter is stiffer than most stylets, which usually do not reach the end of the tube. The catheter end is smooth enough to slide through atraumatically, even if the patient is lightly anesthetized and receiving no lidocaine.

Dr. Keith Longhofer
Tonganoxie, Kan.