The esophageal tracheal airway or Combitube is a double-lumen tube with two cuffs. It is supplied with two syringes which are already primed right out of the box to the correct inflation volume for each cuff of 12 ml and 85 ml respectively.
Each lumen of the Combitube can be connected to a breathing system via a standard 15 mm tube connector and color-coded port.
The shorter white port is for the distal lumen, which opens just to the side of the atraumatic bevelled tip of the tube.
The longer blue port is for the proximal lumen, which opens between the two cuff through eight side holes.
The esophageal tracheal airway is available in two sizes. The manufacturer recommends using the smaller 37 Fr device for patients under 5 feet (152 cm) height and the larger 41 Fr fsize for patients taller than that.
This device is not suited for use in pediatric patients.
The esophageal tracheal airway/ Combitube is a blind insertion airway device (as is the laryngeal mask).
It is a popular piece of equipment in the emergency medicine and pre-hospital settings since placing it does therefore not require laryngoscopy skills or any additional equipment.
The Combitube is also an important rescue device in difficult airway algorhithms for CICV scenarios.