Endotracheal Tubes: Breathing Easy Since WWI
Sir Ivan Magill developed the versatile endotracheal tube for difficult intubation of wounded WWI soldiers.

The endotracheal tube, or ETT, is a crucial piece of medical equipment. They are used most often during cardiac arrest, respiratory arrest, or for general anesthesia, when non invasive breathing methods are not practical or efficient.

The inventor of this important piece of medical equipment was Sir Ivan Magill. During WWI, he decided to address problems with airway maintenance when soldiers suffered extreme facial injuries or other wounds that caused the inability to deliver anesthesia with a mask. Today most tracheotomies are oral. However, nasotracheal intubation is also common, especially during mouth surgeries. This protects the patient from their own blood, vomit, or any other regurgitation.

The video below shows a cross section of the intubation process.

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