We've gathered here some tips, new and old, on creative ET tube storage/access ideas. Fire us an email at [email protected] if you try one or have one we missed here. (No one is yet hanging them on a ceramic elephant’s trunk. Just sayin’.)
We use inexpensive hooks from a dollar store to hang our endotracheal tubes after use—all organized by size. Commercially available stands are more expensive, and ours seems to work for less.
In preparation for our protocol review by the American Animal Hospital Association, we enclosed our endotracheal (ET) tubes. We purchased a 28-quart clear storage box that the ET tube rack fits inside of. We anchored the box to the wall by using standard molly screws and attached the ET rack to it. By closing the storage box, the ET tubes remain clean of air-borne debris.
At our clinic, we were having trouble keeping endotracheal tubes from getting mixed together. We had them in a drawer, divided by cardboard, but that didn't work well enough. So we bought fishing tackle boxes, which keep the tubes organized and store away easily. All the tubes—except for size 11—fit into the boxes. Each slot holds four to eight tubes, depending on the size of the tube.
We built a rack for our endotracheal tubes that allows the tubes to hang like stemware from a wine glass rack. We used 1.25-inch-diameter PVC pipes and cut slots lengthwise along the pipes. (A 0.6-inch-wide slot works for up to 11-mm tubes.) Then we screwed the PVC pipes into a piece of wood and mounted the wood in a convenient spot. The rack works well because it provides good air circulation and doesn't scratch the cuffs.
To organize our endotracheal tubes, we glued wooden dowels into a drawer. By storing the tubes in the drawer, we keep them away from debris—and the dowels keep the tubes sorted.