Parker Flex-Tip® tube

Claas Siegmueller



This endotracheal tube has a curved and tapered tip which is meant to reduce the risk of trauma during intubation. The distal tip, which is the distinguishing feature of this endotracheal tube, is designed to slide past protruding features of the airway, such as the vocal cords and nasal turbinates, without getting 'hung up' on them, causing trauma and bleeding

Oral Parker Flex-Tip® tube

Other design features of this ET tube are a downward facing bevelled opening at the tip and a Murphy eye on each side.

'Standard' Shiley® ETT versus Parker Flex-Tip® ETT

The device is available in a large number of variations, cuffed vs. uncuffed, oral vs. nasal preformed versions, and in a range of sizes suitable for adult and pediatric patients. A reinforced version is also offered, as are microlaryngeal sizes.


The device is designed to reduce the risk of traumatic intubation, which is more likely to occur in (mainly) two situations:

  1. Nasal intubation, particularly with a narrow passage, e.g. due to relatively large turbinates
  2. Intubation with a Seldinger technique, i.e. over an introducer device such as a gum-elastic bougie, a fiberoptic bronchoscope, an Aintree intubation catheter, or an airway exchange catheter. With this technique there is a gap or sudden 'step-up' between the introducer device and the ET tube's outer diameter. This increase in diameter can lead to the ET tube getting 'caught', most likely at the level of the laryngeal inlet or vocal chords. Attempts to advance the ET tube over the introducer device and forcefully push the tube can then be either unsuccessful or cause trauma.

Of course, the Parker Flex-Tip® tube can be chosen in any situation a standard ETT is otherwise used.

Side-by-side comparison of the Parker Flex-Tip® and a 'standard' ETT with regards to the 'step up' between tube and conduit, e.g bougie


Laryngeal model demonstrating the 'hang up' (red arrow) of the 'standard' ETT (left) versus the Parker Flex-Tip® (right)


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