Pediatric Tube Sizes – Infographic

Pediatric tube sizes

Recently, Sam Ghali reminded us how important pediatric tube sizes, and how easy to calculate them. We think every medical students, interns and PGY1s should know this now. Here is his message on Twitter:

PEDIATRIC TUBE SIZES

CALCULATE  ENDOTRACHEAL TUBE (ETT) SIZE
[Age ÷ 4] + 4
There are many formulas to calculate the endotracheal tube size for kids. The given formula is one of the most common. Let’s think a six yo patient. Your ETT size is 6/4 = 1.5, and +4 = 5.5

NASOGASTRIC/OROGASTRIC TUBE OR FOLEY CATHETER SIZE
ETT x 2
NG/OG tubes and Foley catheters are measured as FRENCH. (Fr) If your ETT size is 5.5, then your NG/OG and Foley sizes will be 5.5 x 2 = 11 Fr.

HOW DEEP YOUR ETT  SHOULD BE
ETT x 3
If your calculated tube size is 5.5, your depth should be 5.5 x 3 = 16.5 cm. So, 16.5 cm mark should be seen at the level of central incisors.

CHEST TUBE SIZE
ETT x 4
If the same six yo patient needs a chest tube, your chest tube size is 5.5 x 4 = 22 Fr. By the way, this is mainly for trauma. Moreover, do not forget, smaller size tubes can work as same as big ones.

Some Hints About Airway!

Some Hints About Airway!

Introduction

The airway is one of the most critical topics in the ER. Read everything about the airway; it is not a waste of time. Even if you have to spend one year just for airway, it is worth it. You will always be confident in dealing with whatever situation that might come to you. Although reading is essential, practicing and getting experience on airway issues is essential too. So, reading along with exposing many patients is a great combination to achieve good skills.

Build your own skills by reading then summarizing your own words. As long as it is correct and safe, the way accomplishing or securing the airway may not be important in many patients.

Here are some tips in airway management at the Emergency Department (ED)

I will mention some points that might help in the management of typical scenarios at the ED. They might look random, but trust me, it is the real deal.

  • Preparations

  • Attach the patient to monitor
  • Check the vitals,
  • Check saturation continuously,
  • Open IV lines (2x) and attach a bag of normal saline,
  • If the blood pressure is low use pressure cuff on the fluid’s bag,
  • If the patient maintains oxygenation don’t bag, just leave the mask on. Moreover, do not forget; bagging is not a safe procedure.
  • Your equipment’s; choose your tube size depending on the patient’s size, size of the laryngoscope
  • Make capnography ready
  • Call the respiratory therapist, if you don’t have one, you check the ventilation machine by yourself
  • Keep bougie on the side, and SUCTION! Doesn’t matter Yankuer or not anymore, as long as it takes away whatever is on your way. Don’t go too deep to avoid vomiting.
  • Raise the bed highest, keep the level of the patient up to your chest or even higher, the higher the better.
  • Have someone on your side in case you needed tracheal manipulation or pressure to facilitate the view.
  • Pay attention to hemodynamic parameters

  • Never intubate before knowing the blood pressure readings.
  • Never intubate with low blood pressure below 90 systolic.
  • Resuscitate then intubate.
  • Neutral hemodynamic resuscitation (some studies tried the use of paralytic agent alone, with local anesthetic on the glottis, the same idea as awake intubation, in case of hemodynamic instability to avoid the use of induction agents that might decrease hemodynamics). The risk of using multiple doses of an induction agent can cause hemodynamic instability.
  • However, if there is no contraindication, you can think of using ketamine to help boost the blood pressure.
  • Double the dose of your medication if the patient has low cardiac output. As with low cardiac output, the medication won’t reach fast; it might take longer than 4 min. There is no harm in increasing paralytic agents ONLY IF THE AIRWAY IS NOT DIFFICULT. Induction agents can be used as boluses also, but again be careful if the patient is unstable as it might worsen the condition.

Here is a great video summarizing hemodynamic issues in airway management

  • Intubation and beyond

  • Use direct laryngoscopy first, use the old school equipment to keep your skills fresh, but keep the video laryngoscope ready on the side. Some experts recommends using video laryngoscope blade for direct laryngoscope and if you need, just look to the screen.
  • Still failed multiple trials with the laryngoscope? Consider difficult airway. One of the recommendations is to “leave the tube in the esophagus and insert another tube; the other opening is definitely the trachea.” By the way, there are tools to understand the difficulty of the airway, so know and use it.
iEM-infographic-pearls-airway - Assessing Airway Difficulty
  • Rapid Sequence Intubation (RSI) and Delayed RSI: Delayed RSI used mainly in the ICU, and many authors hate this term. However, there is no harm if the patient is maintaining oxygenation, you can give a sedative and look before proceeding to RSI. Just don’t call this approach “RSI.”
  • Rocuronium or Succinylcholine; both will paralyze the patient; it is not about which one is better; it depends on the type of airway you are dealing with. If it is a difficult airway, you do not want to use rocuronium and end up bagging the patient for one hour. Using a short-acting agent is a smart move.
  • However, if it is easy, use it as it would help in paralyzing the patient for an hour, but doesn’t mean the patient is fine, do not forget analgesia/sedation!
  • The tube is in, yay! Good for you, but your work is not done yet. All of us been through the situation where we jump into the airway, insert the tube and leave. This is not a skill lab; it is a real patient. The patient is not moving does not mean he is fine, you paralyzed him but he can still feel. Insert the tube, attach capnography, bag, auscultate, make sure of the level of the tube’s depth, order x-ray STAT then start analgesia/sedation infusion! No matter how naive you are or had a blackout, use midazolam and fentanyl! However, please learn other options too, because different patients may require different agents.
  • Propofol infusion, the bright side of Propofol is its analgesic and sedative effect, although it has a high risk of causing hypotension.
  • The dilemma of which medication to use, as for induction or paralyzing. No one can tell you that one medication is better than the other. Read everything about each medication, understand it, then you make your own mixture.

As long as you keep reading, and updating your knowledge, with of course practice and exposure to different type of situations, you will always know how to deal with every situation.

Further Reading

Laceration Repair: A Rural Encounter

The word “emergency” carries some connotation with it. A lack of time to act, a situation that demands speed, a sense of acuity. Medicine on the other hand is related to healing, soothing and improving, a slow and gentle process. I sometimes wonder if the name of the specialty (Emergency Medicine) is an oxymoron.

Etymology aside, this specialty of medicine has meant at least two different things to me at two different settings. I have worked as an intern at Patan Hospital, a tertiary care center and as an in-charge of emergency services of Beltar Primary Healthcare Center (PHC), a government establishment in rural Nepal. I intend to describe my perspective and illustrate what different experiences of emergency medicine in different settings has to offer. I hope in doing so, I’ll be able to illustrate some of my workarounds that make the difference less overwhelming.

I have been posted at Beltar PHC, Nepal for the past 18 months. The center has been running primary emergency services. Initial stabilization and proper referral are two major ways Beltar PHC helps to save lives. The nearest city where cases are referred to are Dharan (50.5 km away) and Biratnagar (92 km away). Emergency personnel includes one doctor on call, one paramedic, two sisters for delivery and one office assistant. Laboratory and X-ray services are not available apart from office hours. Emergency investigations available include ECG, UPT and Obstetric USG. The government freely supplies medical equipment and a limited number of medicines.

Entrance to Emergency Services at Beltar PHC
Emergency Setup at Beltar Primary Healthcare Center

A 27-year-old male

A 27-year-old male with a cut injury on his right forearm was brought to the PHC. It was a quiet day at the Emergency Department (ED) and most of the cases were OPD cases that did not make it on time.

One-way ED helps people here, albeit not an ideal way, is to act as a rescue for patients who travel long distances to get to the OPD if they do not make it on time.

The patient had a clean wound, about 5 cm long with smooth edges. We washed the wound using tap water; a practice equally efficacious to using saline but way more affordable for a rural setup. To suture the wound, we made our equipment ready. A long suture thread was cut from a nylon thread roll sterilized in betadine, some gauze pieces prepared by our office assistant that had been autoclaved and stored in an old dressing drum were taken out.

Suture materials at Beltar PHC
Dressing Drums at Beltar PHC

The thread was inserted into a needle, probably too big (turns out what needle size to use and when was a dilemma of privilege). Sometimes, we use needles that come with 2 ml syringes instead; they are sharper for skin penetration than the big suture needles our government freely supplies. The wound was sutured and the patient discharged.

That night I reflected on how things would have been subtly but significantly different at Patan Hospital. A sterilized suture set, autoclaved, packed and ready to use along with a ready to use surgical suture would be available. The procedure would have taken place in a more private space and not where visitors had the opportunity to peak in through our foldable privacy screen. Maybe the patient would have had to wait longer to get attention but the difference would not have been much, considering the time it takes to prepare every instrument here.

Each minor aspect of this difference deserves to be heard, talked about and their solution sought for. I plan to write about each of these as a series of article that follows. Proper resource allocation is a time and economy intensive goal; nevertheless the ultimate one. Maybe small workarounds are what we need during the period of transition, especially for places like Beltar.

Laceration repair is a common procedure in every emergency department. Setting differs and with it the availability of resources. Nevertheless, the core principles that govern patient care and the science behind it remains the same. While we wait for more convenient and sophisticated solutions, which all patients deserve, here are some points to remember regarding laceration repair that can help provide an acceptable standard of care even in resource-limited settings.

  • While working in rural, one should be well aware of its limitations. Some lacerations that require surgical consultation and need to be referred include (1):
    • Deep wounds of the hand or foot
    • Full-thickness lacerations of the eyelid, lip, or ear
    • Lacerations involving nerves, arteries, bones, or joints
    • Penetrating wounds of unknown depth
    • Severe crush injuries
    • Severely contaminated wounds requiring drainage
  • Non-contaminated wounds can be successfully closed up to 18 hours post-injury while clean head wounds can be repaired up to 24 hours after injury (2).

  • Drinkable tap water can be used for wound irrigation instead of sterile saline. At least 50 to 100 ml of irrigation solution per 1 cm of wound length is needed at a pressure of 5 to 8 psi for optimal dilution of wound’s bacterial load. The wound can be put under running water or can be irrigated using a 19-gauge needle with a 35 ml syringe (3).

  • Local hair should be clipped, not shaved, to prevent wound contamination(4).

  • Strict sterile techniques are unnecessary to be followed during laceration repairs. The instruments touching wound (sutures, needles, etc.) should be sterile, but everything else only needs to be clean(1). Clean non-sterile examination gloves can be used instead of sterile gloves during wound repair(5).
  • Local anesthesia with lidocaine 1% or bupivacaine 0.25% is appropriate for small wounds while large wounds occurring on limbs may require a regional block (1). Epinephrine should not be used in anatomic areas with end arterioles, such as fingers, toes, nose, penis, and earlobes.
  • Maximum doses of local anesthetic are as follow (6):
    • Lidocaine (without epinephrine): 3 – 5 mg/kg
    • Lidocaine (with epinephrine): 7 mg/kg
    • Bupivacaine (without epinephrine): 1 – 2 mg/kg
    • Bupivacaine (with epinephrine): 3 mg/kg
  • The suture used for skin repair include non-absorbable sutures (nylon and polypropylene) while absorbable sutures (polyglactin, polyglycolic) is used to close deep lacerations. For skin closure, silk sutures are no longer used because of skin abscess formation, their poor tensile strength and high tissue reactivity. In general, a 3–0 or 4–0 suture is appropriate on the trunk, 4–0 or 5–0 on the extremities and scalp, and 5–0 or 6–0 on the face (6).
    • Sterilization of sutures can be done by complete immersion in povidone-iodine 10% solution for 10 minutes followed by rinsing in sterile saline/water. Sutures that can be sterilized or re-sterilized include monofilament sutures (Prolene or Nylon) and coated sutures (Vicryl, Ethibond) (7).

Timing of Suture Removal (6)

Wound Location Time of Removal (Days)
Face
3 - 5
Scalp
7 - 10
Arms
7 - 10
Trunk
10 - 14
Legs
10 - 14
Hands or Feet
10 - 14
Palms or Soles
14 - 21

Tetanus Prophylaxis (8)

Wound Previous Vaccine Tetanus Vaccine
Clean Wound
Previous vaccine ≥3 doses - The last dose within 10 years
No Need
Previous vaccine ≥3 doses - The last dose more than 10 years
Yes
Previous vaccine ≥3 doses - NOT RECEIVED
Yes
Contaminated Wound
Previous vaccine ≥3 doses - The last dose within 5 years
No
Previous vaccine ≥3 doses - The last dose more than 5 years
Yes
Previous vaccine ≥3 doses - NOT RECEIVED
Yes + TIG

Factors that may increase chances of wound infection (9)

  • wound contamination,
  • laceration > 5 cm,
  • laceration located on the lower extremities,
  • diabetes mellitus

Antibiotics

  • Prophylactic systemic antibiotics are not necessary for healthy patients with clean, non-infected, non-bite wounds(10). 
  • Prophylactic antibiotic use is recommended for (11): 
    • human bite wounds 
    • deep puncture wounds
    • wounds involving the palms and fingers
  • Topical antibiotic ointments decrease the infection rate in minor contaminated wounds. 

References and Further Reading

  1. Forsch RT. Essentials of Skin Laceration Repair. Am Fam Physician. 2008 Oct 15;78(8):945-95
  2. Berk WA, Osbourne DD, Taylor DD. Evaluation of the ‘golden period’ for wound repair: 204 cases from a third world emergency department. Ann Emerg Med. 1988;17(5):496–500.
  3. Wheeler CB, Rodeheaver GT, Thacker JG, Edgerton MT, Edilich RF. Side-effects of high pressure irrigation. Surg Gynecol Obstet. 1976;143(5):775–778./ Moscati RM, Reardon RF, Lerner EB, Mayrose J. Wound irrigation with tap water. Acad Emerg Med. 1998;5(11):1076–1080.
  4. Howell JM, Morgan JA. Scalp laceration repair without prior hair removal. Am J Emerg Med. 1988;6(1):7–10.
  5. Perelman VS, Francis GJ, Rutledge T, Foote J, Martino F, Dranitsaris G. Sterile versus nonsterile gloves for repair of uncomplicated lacerations in the emergency department: a randomized controlled trial. Ann Emerg Med. 2004;43(3):362–370.
  6. Forsch RT, Little SH, Williams C. Laceration Repair: A Practical Approach. Am Fam Physician. 2017 May 15;95(10):628-636.
  7. Cox I. Guidelines for Re-Sterilising Sutures. Community Eye Health. 2004;17(50): 30.
  8. Kretsinger K, Broder KR, Cortese MM, et al. Preventing tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis among adults: use of tetanus toxoid, reduced diphtheria toxoid and acellular pertussis vaccine recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP). MMWR Recomm Rep. 2006;55(RR-17):1–37.
  9. Quinn JV, Polevoi SK, Kohn MA. Traumatic lacerations: what are the risks for infection and has the ‘golden period’ of laceration care disappeared? Emerg Med J. 2014;31(2):96–100.
  10. Cummings P, Del Beccaro MA. Antibiotics to prevent infection of simple wounds: a meta-analysis of randomized studies. Am J Emerg Med. 1995;13(4):396–400.
  11. Worster B, Zawora MQ, Hsieh C. Common Questions About Wound Care. Am Fam Physician. 2015 Jan 15;91(2):86-92.

Airway Tips by Manrique Umana

Dr. Manrique Umana from Costa Rica presented a fantastic lecture during the 30th Emergency Medicine Conference of Mexican Society in Cancun/Mexico. Every emergency physician should know the airway tips he gave in the talk. Moreover, medical students and interns should also be aware of these clues. Therefore, we asked him to summarize his speech for iEM. You will find English and Spanish version of the summary on the below videos. Enjoy!

Airway Tips

This video includes a summary of “physiologically difficult airway” presentation given by Dr. Manrique Umana from Costa Rica.

Consejos de la vía aérea

Este video incluye un resumen de la presentación de la “vía aérea fisiológicamente difícil” realizada por el Dr. Manrique Umana de Costa Rica.

Bat Sign

Dear students/interns, learn ultrasonographic anatomy and clinical ultrasound basics to improve your decision making processes.

bat2

The bat sign is critical for correct identification of the pleural line. Always begin lung ultrasound by identifying the bat sign before proceeding to look for artifacts and pathologies.

This sign is formed when scanning across 2 ribs with the intervening intercostal space.

The wings are formed by the 2 ribs, casting an acoustic shadow. The body is the first continuous horizontal hyperechoic line that starts below one rib and extends all the way to the other. (see above video) The body is the pleural line, i.e., parietal pleural. Normally, the pleural line is opposed to and hence indistinguishable from the lung line (formed by the visceral pleura).

To learn more about it, read chapter below.

Read "Blue Protocol" Chapter

Corner stitch

Need a chest tube or not?

420 - right pneumothorax1

iEM Education Project Team uploads many clinical picture and videos to the Flickr and YouTube. These images are free to use in education. You can also support this global EM education initiative by providing your resources. Sharing is caring!

From experts to our students! – Splinting

From experts to our students! – eFAST

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622.4 - Figure 4 - ABG sampling position - radial artery

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