Oral intubation

The oral route is used most commonly when intubating a patient because access to the larynx is easier and the skill is more easily learned. This should be the route of first choice to establish and secure the airway; alternative routes can be planned later.

Advantages

1. Anatomically, oral intubation is the easiest route to visualize the larynx and pass an endotracheal tube.

2. There is minimal tissue trauma on insertion.

Disadvantages

1. Oral intubation can be poorly tolerated, particularly in confused patients. Therefore it may require more sedation and lead to slower weaning.

2. There is less stable fixation where uncuffed tubes are used.

3. Oral and labial sores may develop after prolonged intubation.

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