Tracheal intubation with a double-lumen tube can be more challenging than with a single-lumen tube. A bougie can be used to facilitate intubation. Case reports have described fragment shearing from bougies when they are removed from the tube after intubation. These fragments have the potential to cause harm. It has even been suggested that bougies and double-lumen tubes should not be used together. We conducted a benchtop trial to investigate factors that influence the risk of shearing. We investigated three brands of double-lumen tube (each in three sizes and both lateralities) and four brands of bougie. We simulated one intubation and 29 further insertions/removals of bougie with every bougie–double-lumen tube combination. We inspected the inside of the tube for evidence of shearing after first, tenth and thirtieth removals. We found that brand of bougie, brand of double-lumen tube and size of double-lumen tube (but not its laterality) all influenced the degree of shearing. Certain bougie–double-lumen tube combinations produced a particularly high degree of shearing, so these should be avoided.
- double-lumen tube placement
- endobronchial intubation