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This study compared the leakage characteristics of different types of dual-cannula fenestrated tracheostomy tubes during positive pressure ventilation. Fenestrated Portex Blue Line Ultra®, TRACOE® twist, or Rusch® Traceofix® tracheostomy tubes equipped with nonfenestrated inner cannulaswere tested in a tracheostomy-lung simulator. Transfenestration pressures and transfenestration leakage rates were measured during positive pressure ventilation. The impact of different ventilation modes, airway pressures, temperatures, and simulated static lung compliance settings on leakage characteristics was assessed. We observed substantial differences in transfenestration pressures and transfenestration leakage rates. The leakage rates of the best performing tubes were <3.5% of the delivered minute volume. At body temperature, the leakage rates of these tracheostomy tubes were <1%.The tracheal tube design was the main factor that determined the leakage characteristics. Careful tracheostomy tube selection permits the use of fenestrated tracheostomy tubes in patients receiving positive pressure ventilation immediately after stoma formation and minimises the risk of complications caused by transfenestration gas leakage, for example, subcutaneous emphysema.
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