Study Shows Kimberly-Clark MicroCuff Endotracheal Tube Reduces VAP


Kimberly-Clark Health Care announces the presentation of data related to the Kimberly-Clark MicroCuff Adult Endotracheal (ET) Tube at the American Society of Critical Care Anesthesiologists (ASCCA) meeting in New Orleans this week.

The study, supported by an educational grant from Kimberly-Clark, was conducted at the Tampa General Hospital in Tampa, Fla., and demonstrated a more than 60 percent reduction in the incidence of ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP) using the MicroCuff ET Tube when compared to a standard ET tube.

“The results suggest that the Kimberly-Clark MicroCuff ET Tube played a significant role in reducing the occurrence of ventilator-associated pneumonia,” said Dr. Rachel Karlnoski, research director in the Department of Anesthesia.

“We found that the rate of VAP was reduced by 61 percent per patient ventilator day, and there was also a decrease in the number of ICU days,” said John Schweiger, director of the Critical Care Medicine Program and anesthesiologist at Tampa General. No significant differences were observed in median length of hospital stay, median length of mechanical ventilation or mortality between baseline data and data collected following conversion to the MicroCuff ET tube.

“The study findings are encouraging as we strive to prevent healthcare-associated infections,” said Dr. Lynne Kelley, vice president and senior medical director for Kimberly-Clark Health Care. “Kimberly-Clark is confident that there is a real benefit of the tube design. The results of the Tampa General Study are even more positive than those seen in the study performed at the University of Michigan and presented earlier in the year at the American Thoracic Society Congress. These studies and the MicroCuff ET tube itself demonstrate how important it is to constantly challenge the design of existing devices to innovate and improve patient outcomes. Continued work needs to be done, especially when you consider the human and economic benefit for reduction in VAP.”

The MicroCuff ET Tube has a unique microthin polyurethane cuff designed to minimize the leakage of potentially infectious secretions into the lungs, which can cause serious complications  such as VAP. The microthin cuff has the added clinical benefit of effectively sealing the trachea at lower cuff pressures, thereby reducing the risk of tracheal trauma.

Ventilator-associated pneumonia is one of the top three infection concerns of clinicians today; it may account for up to 60 percent of all deaths from health-care-associated infections (HAIs) in the United States. Approximately 8 to 28 percent of critical care patients develop VAP, which has a mortality rate of 20 to 33 percent and is estimated to generate an increased cost of $20,000 to $40,000 per incident. A leading cause of VAP is micro-aspiration of potentially infectious secretions through gaps in the endotracheal tube cuff. The cuff seal is the final barrier that protects the lungs  from aspiration of potentially infectious oropharyngeal secretions.

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