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Tracheal tube cuff pressure monitoring: Assessing current practice in critically ill patients at Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital

A B Khan, K Thandrayen, S Omar

Abstract


Background. Intubated patients with a high tracheal tube cuff pressure (CP) are at risk of developing tracheal or subglottic stenosis. Recently an increasing number of patients have presented to our hospital with these complications. 

Objectives. To determine the frequency of tracheal tube CP measurements and the range of CP and to explore nursing knowledge regarding CP monitoring. 

Methods. Frequency of CP measurement was assessed using a prospective chart review, followed by an interventional component. In the final stage nurses completed a self-administered questionnaire. 

Results. A total of 304 charts from 61 patients were reviewed. Patients’ ages ranged from 1 to 71 years, with a male preponderance (1.5:1). The majority of charts (87%) did not reflect a documented CP measurement and only 12 charts showed at least one measurement per shift. Only 17% of recorded CPs were within the recommended range; 59% were too low. The questionnaire was completed by only 51% of the 75 respondents. Nursing experience ranged from 3 to 35 years and 92% of respondents were trained in critical care. Knowledge of current critical care CP monitoring guidelines was reported by 62% of the respondents (n=23/37). Only 53% (20/38) reported routinely measuring CP. Almost all respondents (94%) knew of at least one complication of abnormal CP. 

Conclusion. Having a basic knowledge of CP measurement, having awareness of the complications of abnormal CP and the availability of national best practice guidelines did not translate into appropriate ICU practice. Research into effective implementation strategies to achieve best practice is needed.


Authors' affiliations

A B Khan, Department of Critical Care, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa

K Thandrayen, Department of Paediatrics, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa

S Omar, Department of Critical Care, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa

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Cite this article

Southern African Journal of Critical Care 2019;35(1):7-11. DOI:10.7196/SAJCC.2019.v35i1.373

Article History

Date submitted: 2019-08-15
Date published: 2019-08-15

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