Broken Nasotracheal Tube Aspiration in a Horse During Anaesthetic Recovery

A new article is available titled “Broken nasotracheal tube aspiration in a horse during anaesthetic recovery is available on from Equine Veterinary Education. The article discusses a complication of surgery when a nasotracheal tube broke during recovery and the internal end was aspirated into the trachea of the horse and had to be removed.


A horse was presented for soft palate thermocautery and surgical advancement of the larynx under general anaesthesia, following a history of respiratory noise and poor athletic performance. Physical examination prior to surgery was unremarkable. The horse was anaesthetised and a 20 mm cuffed endotracheal tube (ETT) used to intubate the trachea via the right nostril. The cuff was deflated at the end of the procedure and the tube secured in place around the head of the horse for the recovery. The horse was assisted to standing and during this process the end of the nasotracheal tube broke and was observed hanging from the head collar. The remainder of the tube was aspirated into the trachea of the horse. The remaining length of endotracheal tube was removed using a modified endoscopic technique. The horse recovered with no further problems. An unusual complication of a nasotracheal tube left in situ for recovery in a horse is reported and possible reasons for this complication are discussed.


J. Potter, P. Macfarlane, and D. Holopherne-Doran, Department of Anaesthesia, Langford Veterinary Services, University of Bristol, UK; K. Allen, Department of Equine Sports Medicine, Langford Veterinary Services, University of Bristol, UK.

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