Use of the intubating laryngeal mask in children: an evaluation using video-endoscopic monitoring

M Weiss, U Schwarz, C Dillier, J Fischer, A C Gerber
European Journal of Anaesthesiology 2001, 18 (11): 739-44

BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVE: The intubating laryngeal mask is designed to act as a ventilatory device and as an aid to blind tracheal intubation in adults. The aim of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of the intubating laryngeal mask for ventilation of the lungs and tracheal intubation in children using video-endoscopic control.

METHODS: The handling and efficacy of the size 3 intubating laryngeal mask for tracheal intubation in 80 children weighing > or = 25 kg were assessed under video-endoscopic control. Ease of intubating laryngeal mask insertion, adequacy of lung ventilation through the intubating laryngeal mask and airway sealing pressures were recorded. Tracheal intubation was performed blindly by the intubator, while the supervisor observed the procedure on the video display. If blind intubation failed at the first attempt, the monitor view was used to guide the tracheal tube into the trachea. The success rate and time required for successfully placing the tracheal tube were recorded.

RESULTS: Insertion of the intubating laryngeal mask was easy in all children. Lung ventilation through the intubating laryngeal mask was uniformly excellent. Blind tracheal intubation at the first attempt was successful in 53 children (66%) within 18.8 +/- 4.1 s. Twenty-four of the 27 failed blind intubation attempts were successfully intubated with video-endoscopic guidance within 28.6 +/- 9.4 s. Two children required replacing the intubating laryngeal mask, one child had to be intubated conventionally.

CONCLUSIONS: The size 3 intubating laryngeal mask provides an airway that is easy to establish in children > or = 25 kg with excellent ventilation conditions and allows blind tracheal intubation at the first attempt with a high success rate. Endoscopic monitoring improves its safety and intubation success rate.

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