Intubated patients may experience a variety of complications as a result of being endotracheally intubated. Most of these stem from the basic difference between the trachea and the endotracheal tube (natural vs. artificial airway). The most immediately life-threatening complication is complete or near-complete endotracheal tube obstruction, although partial obstruction can occur insidiously and lead to elevated imposed work of breathing and unecessarily prolonged mechanical ventilation. If the secretions contain bacterial biofilm, then the endotracheal tube may serve as a reservoir for VAP pathogens.
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