Numerous strategies have been used to reduce epistaxis after nasotracheal intubation. The authors compared the severity of epistaxis after nasotracheal intubation in children with tubes at room temperature, warm tubes, and tubes telescoped into catheters.
Children who were scheduled for elective dental surgery were randomly assigned to undergo nasotracheal intubation using a tube at room temperature (control), warmed in saline, or whose distal end had been telescoped into a red rubber catheter. After an inhalational induction and intravenous propofol, a lubricated tube or red rubber catheter was inserted into the right naris. Tracheal intubation was achieved by direct laryngoscopy and tube placement using Magill forceps. The pharynx was swabbed for blood by an observer who was blind to the treatment. The severity of bleeding was rated using reference figures. Data were analyzed using Kruskal-Wallis and Fisher exact tests. P < 0.05 was accepted.
The demographics of the three groups were similar. The estimated median area of the gauze in the catheter group that was covered with blood (0%) was significantly less than the areas in the control (40%) and warm (20%) groups. The incidence of clinically relevant bleeding (>or= 40% of the gauze area covered in blood) in the catheter group (5%) was significantly less than in the control (56%) and warm (39%) groups. The incidence of no detectable blood in the catheter group (59%) was significantly greater than in the control (21%) and warm (26%) groups.
Telescoping the endotracheal tube into a catheter significantly reduces epistaxis in children undergoing nasotracheal intubation.