A comparison of tape-tying versus a tube-holding device for securing endotracheal tubes in adults

Anaesth Intensive Care. 2007 Oct;35(5):730-5. doi: 10.1177/0310057X0703500512.


During the transfer of intubated patients, endotracheal tube security is paramount. This study aims to compare two methods of securing an endotracheal tube in adults: tying with a cloth tape versus the Thomas Endotracheal Tube Holder (Laerdal). A manikin-based study was performed using paramedics and critical care doctors (consultants and senior trainees) as participants. Each participant was asked to secure an endotracheal tube that had been placed within the trachea of a manikin a total of six times, the first three times using tied cloth tape and the last three times using a Thomas Endotracheal Tube Holder. Following each 'fixation' and after the participant had left the room, the security of the tube was tested by applying a fixed force laterally and to the right by dropping a 1.25 kg weight a distance of 50 cm. The amount of movement of the tube with respect to the teeth was measured and recorded in millimetres. Two-hundred-and-seventy tube fixations (135 tied vs. 135 tube holder) were performed by 45 participants. The degree of tube movement was significantly higher when the tube was secured with a tie compared with when the tube holder was used (median movement 22 mm vs. 4 mm, P < 0.0001). We have demonstrated that the tube holder device minimised tube movement in a manikin model when compared with conventional tape tying. The use of this device when transporting intubated patients may reduce the risk of tube displacement though further clinical studies are warranted.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adhesives*
  • Equipment Design
  • Humans
  • Intubation, Intratracheal / instrumentation
  • Intubation, Intratracheal / methods*
  • Manikins
  • Prospective Studies


  • Adhesives