Use of radio frequency identification (RFID) tags in bedside monitoring of endotracheal tube position

J Clin Monit Comput. 2007 Jun;21(3):155-8. doi: 10.1007/s10877-007-9069-9. Epub 2007 Apr 4.


Improper positioning of the endotracheal tube during intubation poses a serious health risk to patients. In one prospective study of 219 critically ill patients, 14% required endotracheal tube repositioning after intubation [Brunel et al. Chest 1989; 96: 1043-1045] While a variety of techniques are used to confirm proper tube placement, a chest X-ray is usually employed for definitive verification. Radio frequency identification (RFID) technology, in which an RFID reader emits and receives a signal from an RFID tag, may be useful in evaluating endotracheal tube position. RFID technology has already been approved for use in humans as a safe and effective tool in a variety of applications. The use of handheld RFID detectors and RFID tag-labeled endotracheal tubes could allow for easy and accurate bedside monitoring of endotracheal tube position, once initial proper placement is confirmed.

MeSH terms

  • Equipment Design
  • Hospitalization
  • Humans
  • Intubation, Intratracheal / instrumentation*
  • Intubation, Intratracheal / methods*
  • Monitoring, Physiologic / methods*
  • Radio Waves*
  • Radiography, Thoracic / methods
  • Trachea / pathology