INTRODUCTION: It is assumed that lower endotracheal tube (ETT) cuff pressure is associated with a lower incidence of postoperative sore throat. However, this is not confirmed in many studies. The relation between ETT size and cuff pressure and the incidence of postoperative sore throat were studied in three different facilities.
METHODS: Three facilities at Hamad Medical Corporation, Qatar, Tertiary care hospital/two secondary care hospitals (2ry (1) and 2ry (2)) were addressed in this study. ETT cuff pressure and size were measured by blinded observer after induction of general anesthesia and patientsí intubation before the surgery. The sore throat was recorded after full recovery of the patients and before discharge from PACU by a blinded observer. Statistical analysis was performed using Chi-square for comparing between two categorical variables, Pearson Correlation for parametric variables were used to correlate tube size to cuff pressure. Spearmanís for non-parametric variables was used to correlate throat pain to changes in cuff pressure and tube size (Sig. is p<0.05).
RESULTS: The sore throat was not significantly correlated to either tube size or cuff pressure in the three facilities. Only at 2ry (1), the tube size was significantly correlated to cuff pressure, probably more standardized work.
DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSION: A large number of trainees at tertiary care hospitals may explain the increased incidence of postoperative sore throat and not ETT size and/or cuff pressure.