KimVent MICROCUFF Subglottic Suctioning Endotracheal TubeKimberly-Clark has introduced its KimVent MICROCUFF Subglottic Suctioning Endotracheal Tube (ETT), the first subglottic suctioning ETT to be FDA cleared for saline use, according to the company.

The product uses saline to clear potentially harmful clogs, which provides a more effective subglottic suctioning and prevents against microaspiration. It also provides effective prevention against cross-contamination to both patients and healthcare professionals, Kimberly-Clark said.

The device features an ergonomic subglottic suction valve and integrated rinse port, enabling controlled rinsing and suctioning of the lumen in a single cycle, without the need to open the suction circuit, an important factor in reducing incidences of VAP.

“Clearing subglottic lines has been a persistent problem causing many of our respiratory therapists to disconnect the line to clear it, resulting in potential secretion exposure to both patient and the respiratory therapist,” said Megan Dutch Kelley, pulmonary services education coordinator at St. John Medical Center in Tulsa, Okla. “The Kimberly-Clark MICROCUFF Subglottic ETT solves this problem with a more efficient system that enables us to keep a closed system to clear the line, protecting both patient and staff from contamination.”

Using saline to loosen secretions and clear the lumen is both more effective at preventing and clearing clogs, and more efficient for suctioning secretions when compared to air bolus, according to a recent study conducted on behalf of Kimberly-Clark by Clinimark Labs. The same study also found the ETT’s design allows medical professionals to provide periodic saline rinsing as a preventative measure against clogging, improving suctioning effectiveness to their ventilated patients.

Other ETTs on the market are made of PVC, “which does not seal well enough to prevent micro-aspirations,” according to Kimberly Grace, product manager for Respiratory Health at Kimberly Clark Health Healthcare. The Kimberly Clark ETT is manufactured from polyurethane, and its advanced cylindrical-shaped cuff provides a superior tracheal seal, preventing leakage up to 93% and enables the use of saline, according to the company.