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.
radio frequency identificationRFIDRFID tagendotracheal tube positionbedside monitoring endotracheal tube