Effect of Tracheal Suctioning on Cuff Pressure in Mechanically Ventilated Patients: a Quasi-Experimental Study

Document Type : Original Article


1 Amol Faculty of Nursing and Midwifery, Mazandaran University of Medical Sciences, Sari, Iran

2 Student Research Committee, Mazandaran University of Medical Sciences, Sari, Iran

3 School of Nursing and Midwifery, Iran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran


Background: Endotracheal tube cuff pressure must be kept in an optimal range, but it might change during some nursing procedures. If the cuff pressure gets outside the normal range, it can cause mucosal damage, insufficient ventilation, and microaspiration. This study aimed to determine the effect of endotracheal suctioning on cuff pressure in patients during mechanical ventilation.
Materials and Methods: This is a quasi-experimental study utilizing repeated measures with a within-subject design. Using a simple convenience sampling method, 61 patients were studied during intubation on mechanical ventilation. Baseline cuff pressure was adjusted to 25 cm H2O. Then, at 15, 30, and 60 minutes’ intervals, cuff pressures were measured once without suctioning and again after suctioning.
Results: The results showed a significant change in the mean endotracheal tube cuff pressure during suctioning (p<0.001, d=7.47). During suctioning, cuff pressure exceeded the normal range in 64% of the patients. After suctioning, although endotracheal tube cuff pressure decreased in both conditions, it decreased more significantly (F (2.17, 260.55)=238.19, p<0.001, η=0.665, d=1.37) in the suctioning condition.
Conclusion: The results suggest that endotracheal tube cuff pressure increases suddenly and briefly during suctioning, but within 60 minutes after suctioning, it becomes more reduced in suctioning conditions than without suctioning. Therefore, patients are at risk of mucosal damage and microaspiration after and during suctioning, respectively. It is suggested that nurses use continuous cuff pressure regulation methods to prevent potential risks.