INTRODUCTION: It is assumed that lower endotracheal tube (ETT) cuff pressure is associated with lower incidence of postoperative sore throat. However, this is not confirmed in many studies. The relation between ETT size and cuff pressure and incidence of postoperative sore throat was studied in 3 different facilities.
METHODS: 3 facilities at Hamad Medical Corporation, Qatar, Tertiary care hospital / two secondary care hospitals (2ry (1) and 2ry (2). ETT cuff pressure and size was measured by blinded Observer after induction of general anesthesia and patients' intubation and before start of surgery. Sore throat was recorded after full recovery of patients and before discharge from PACU by a blinded observer.
Statistical analysis was done using Chi square for comparing between two categorical variables, Pearson Correlation for parametric variables were used to correlate tube size to cuff pressure. Spearman's for non-parametric variables was used to correlate throat pain to changes in cuff pressure and tube size (Sig. is P<0.05).
RESULTS: Large number of junior trainee in the tertiary care hospital may explain the high incidence of sore throat. sore throat was not significantly correlated to either tube size or cuff pressure in the 3 facilities.
Only at 2ry (1) the tube size was significantly correlated to cuff pressure, probably more standardized work
DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSION: Large number of trainees at tertiary care hospital may explain the increased incidence of postoperative sore throat and not ETT size and/or cuff pressure.