Purpose: In some thoracic surgical procedures, the insertion of a double-lumen tube (DLT) is not feasible, or the altered use of a DLT and a single-lumen tube (SLT) is justified during the surgery. In the present article we report our experience with a new bronchial blocker, the EZ-blocker, in clinical use.
Methods: Data were obtained from ten patients undergoing thoracic surgery necessitating one-lung ventilation. For lung isolation, a combination of an SLT and an EZ-blocker was used. The time of insertion and positioning of the EZ-blocker, the lung deflation time with the EZ-blocker cuff inflated and deflated, and the cuff's minimal occlusion volume were recorded. Based on the CT scan, the diameter of the main bronchi and the angle of the bifurcation were measured offline.
Results: The insertion duration of the EZ-blocker was 76 ± 15 s. Two malpositionings were caused by the too-deep positioning of the SLT used for introducing the EZ-blocker, which could be corrected within 65 ± 7 s. The use of the EZ-blocker allowed a short deflation time of the lung without (9.4 ± 0.7 s) and with (4.1 ± 0.7 s) administration of suctioning. The proper block was only dependent on the diameter of the main bronchi and was independent of the bifurcation angle.
Conclusions: Use of the EZ-blocker is easy and safe. The short insertion time and short lung deflation time through the lumen of the SLT allows its use in emergency situations or in cases of a difficult airway.