Covidien announced that it has introduced the novel Mallinckrodt SealGuard Evac endotracheal tube at the Society of Critical Care Medicine (SCCM) Congress in Nashville. The endotracheal tube is comprised of a unique, tapered-shape cuff made from an ultrathin material that virtually eliminates microaspiration of secretions into the lungs while providing secretion drainage through an integrated suction lumen. The novel design and technology of the SealGuard Evac tube have been clinically demonstrated to reduce the incidence of both early- and late-onset Ventilator-Associated Pneumonia (VAP. Subglottic secretions drainage (SSD) performed with the SealGuard Evac tube has been shown to reduce VAP by up to 75 percent. The SealGuard Evac tube’s innovative cuff reduces microaspiration by at least 95%, compared with current high-volume, low-pressure cuffs, reducing the risk for complications associated with aspiration. This dramatically improved seal can be accomplished at a 20% lower sealing pressure, making it especially well-suited for high-risk cases, such as burn patients or other trauma patients requiring longer ICU stays. An eight-month randomized clinical trial demonstrated that the SealGuard Evac endotracheal tube with polyurethane cuff and subglottic secretion drainage (ETT-PUC-SSD) reduced the incidence of late-onset VAP by 62%, compared with a conventional endotracheal tube with polyvinyl cuff without subglottic secretion drainage. Because it is more often caused by multi-drug resistant organisms, late-onset VAP is associated with significantly higher mortality, antibiotic usage and hospital costs than early-onset VAP. The study, which enrolled 280 patients, was performed at the 24-bed medical-surgical intensive care unit of the Hospital Universitario de Canarias (Tenerife, Spain). Conducted by a team led by Leonardo Lorente, M.D., Ph.D., the trial employed identical measures for the prevention of VAP, such as head-of-bed elevation, stress-ulcer prophylaxis, oral chlorhexidine cleaning and sedation and weaning protocols, in both the test and control groups. The SealGuard Evac tube also includes an improved suction system design that results in 200% improved suction efficiency, compared with early SSD tubes. SSD, also known as continuous aspiration of subglottic secretions (CASS), is a globally recognized intervention in the fight against VAP recommended by the Centers for Disease Control, the American Thoracic Society and the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses.