At the time of writing, the Combitube is not widely used in the UK, in contrast to North America and many parts of Europe. However, its use may become more common as it offers similar appeal to the LMA in terms of training and skill requirements. For that reason it is mentioned only briefly (AHA & ILCOR 2000).
The Combitube is a rigid double-lumen tube that is inserted blindly into the patient's mouth and advanced towards the larynx. In the majority of cases the tube enters the patient's oesophagus but the design of the tube caters for the occasion when it may directly enter the trachea. The Combitube has a series of perforations and inflatable cuffs and due to the double lumen, the healthcare professional trained in its use would assess which port to ventilate by, depending on whether the device had lodged itself in the oesophagus or trachea. The Combitube and equipment necessary for its insertion are as shown in Figure 7.6.
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