Extubation is the process of removal of an Endotracheal tube from a patient. A person is usually put on endotracheal tube if he is unconscious so as to protect his airways or to ventilate the person if be is not breathing adequately. Intubation is also the best method to secure an airway even in the ACLS guidelines. When a person needs a ventilator for proper oxygenation and ventilation of his lungs, again he has to be intubated.

Thus a patient can be extubated if the reason for which he has been intubated is no longer present. If an unconscious patient becomes conscious and is able to maintain his airway, extubation can be carried out. Similarly, extubation is performed only when the adequacy of respiration is established in a patient who had problems with breathing and was on a ventilator.

Extubation should not be done on a person on mechanical ventilator without proper assessment and verifying the extubation criteria.

Extubation is to be performed during inspiration, when the laryngeal opening is maximum and also when the chances of aspiration are the least.

Complications at Time of Extubation:

1. Aspiration.
2. Laryngospasm and bronchospasm.
3. Trauma to airways.
4. Hypoxia (in premature extubation).

Leave a Reply