Verification of Endotracheal Tube Position by Emergency Nurses Using Ultrasound: A Repeated Measures Cadaver Study

Sağlam C., Güllüpınar B., Karagöz A., Tandon S., Bilge O., Aykır M., ...More

Journal of Emergency Nursing, vol.48, no.2, pp.181-188, 2022 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 48 Issue: 2
  • Publication Date: 2022
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.jen.2022.01.002
  • Journal Name: Journal of Emergency Nursing
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus, ASSIA, CINAHL, EMBASE, MEDLINE
  • Page Numbers: pp.181-188
  • Keywords: Emergency department, Emergency nurse, Endotracheal tube, Esophageal intubation, Point-of-care ultrasound
  • Istanbul Medipol University Affiliated: Yes


Introduction: Endotracheal intubation is a lifesaving procedure frequently performed in emergency departments. It is associated with some potential risks. Rapid and reliable confirmation of endotracheal tube placement during intubation is critical. Nurses play an important role in the care of patients in various settings. Ultrasound can be performed and interpreted not only by physicians but also by nurses. The aim of this study was to evaluate how well nurses without previous ultrasound experience can determine both esophageal and tracheal localization of endotracheal tubes in cadavers after a short ultrasound training. Methods: This was a repeated measures study with an educational intervention and no control/contemporaneous comparison group. The study was performed to evaluate the ability of emergency nurses to confirm correct endotracheal tube placement and identify esophageal intubations. A total of 7 emergency nurses were given theoretical education and hands-on training about ultrasound. They diagnosed tracheal or esophageal intubation using ultrasound. Results: Four cadavers were used 8 times each for the study. A total of 32 intubation procedures were evaluated with ultrasound by each nurse. In the analysis based on 224 responses, sensitivity, specificity, positive likelihood ratio, negative likelihood ratio, and overall accuracy of ultrasound applied by nurses to detect tracheal intubation were 95.61% (90.06%-98.56%), 97.27% (92.24%-99.43%), 35.06 (11.48-107.10), 0.05 (0.02-0.11), and 96.43% (93.08%-98.45%), respectively. The mean time to evaluate the tube location by ultrasound was 6.57 seconds. Discussion: The results support that ultrasound can be performed by nurses for the confirmation for esophageal and tracheal intubations quickly and accurately.