Esophageal and Pharyngeal Injuries Associated with the Use of the Esophageal-Tracheal Combitube

    Volume 49, Issue 3 (May 2004)

    ISSN: 0022-1198

    CODEN: JFSOAD

    Published Online: 10 March 2204

    Page Count: 6


    Teggatz, JR
    Milwaukee County Medical Examiner's Office, Milwaukee, WI

    Jentzen, J M
    Milwaukee County Medical Examiner's Office, Milwaukee, WI

    Stoppacher, R
    Milwaukee County Medical Examiner's Office, Milwaukee, WI

    (Received 12 October 2003; accepted 4 December 2003)

    Abstract

    The Combitube® is a ventilatory device consisting of a twin lumen tube with proximal and distal inflatable cuffs. The major benefit of the Combitube® is that its design and function allow for ventilation through non-laryngoscope-assisted insertion into either the trachea, or esophagus. As with any invasive procedure, intubation using the Combitube® carries certain risks and potential complications. The majority of complications are relatively minor; however, a rare and serious complication reported primarily in the anesthesiology literature is laceration of the esophagus. This reportedly rare injury is increasingly seen by medical examiners/coroners in the forensic setting.

    This paper presents a series of three cases of esophageal laceration and a single case of perforation of the hypopharynx associated with the use of the Combitube®, while also exploring potential mechanisms of injury. In addition, this work demonstrates the vital role the medical examiner/coroner plays in identifying existing or potential problems with current or emerging medical devices.


    Paper ID: JFS2003342

    DOI: 10.1520/JFS2003342

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    Author
    Title Esophageal and Pharyngeal Injuries Associated with the Use of the Esophageal-Tracheal Combitube
    Symposium , 0000-00-00
    Committee E30