Endotracheal intubation is a medical procedure in which a tube is placed into the windpipe (trachea) through the mouth or nose. In most emergency situations, it is placed through the mouth.
Whether you are awake (conscious) or not awake (unconscious), you will be given medicine to make it easier and more comfortable to insert the tube. You may also receive medicine to relax.
The provider will insert a device called a laryngoscope to be able to view the vocal cords and the upper part of the windpipe.
If the procedure is being done to help with breathing, a tube is then inserted into the windpipe and past the vocal cords to just above the spot where the trachea branches into the lungs. The tube can then be connected to a mechanical ventilator to assist breathing.