dental gas anesthesia endotracheal tube a risk of death

Issues involving dental care. Questions, answers, theories, and evidence.
Why are pets put under general anesthesia when only sedation is necessary?

dental gas anesthesia endotracheal tube a risk of death

Postby guest » Fri Oct 17, 2003 3:56 pm


SouthPaws Veterinary Referral Center
6136 Brandon Avenue
Springfield, Virginia 22150

Summer/Fall 1998 Newsletter
Tracheal Tears Caused by Endotracheal Tubes
Bud Siemering, DVM

There have been approximately six cases of tracheal tears presented to SouthPaws Criticare this year. All of these patients were cats, and all had dental work done under gas anesthesia prior to being presented in respiratory distress and exhibiting subcutaneous emphysema. One died and the others were taken to surgery and the tear repaired successfully. Most of the tears were at the thoracic inlet or just inside the thoracic cavity. The latter required splitting the cranial aspect of the sternum to expose the tear.

It is my impression that these tears occur when patients are rotated from side to side during the dental procedure without disconnecting the endotracheal tube from the anesthetic machine. Please review cuff inflation procedures and disconnect the patient each time it is rotated from side to side with your technicians, as no one is happy when this unfortunate and serious complication occurs.

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