Intubation - endotracheal
Endotracheal intubation is a medical procedure in which a tube is placed into the windpipe (trachea) through the mouth or nose. In most emergency situations it is placed through the mouth.
Whether you are awake (conscious) or not awake (unconscious), you will be given medicine to make it easier to insert the tube.
After endotracheal intubation, you will likely be placed on a breathing machine.
If you are awake after the procedure, your health care provider may give you medicine to reduce your anxiety or discomfort.
Endotracheal intubation is done to:
Reardon RF, McGill JW, Clinton JE. Tracheal intubation. In: Roberts JR, ed. Roberts and Hedges' Clinical Procedures in Emergency Medicine. 6th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2013:chap 4.
Last reviewed on: 11/14/2014
Reviewed by: Jacob L. Heller, MD, MHA, Emergency Medicine, Virginia Mason Medical Center, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.