Evaluation of the size 4 i-gel airway in one hundred non-paralysed patients

J J Gatward, T M Cook, C Seller, J Handel, T Simpson, V Vanek, F Kelly
Anaesthesia 2008, 63 (10): 1124-30
We studied the i-gel in 100 elective, anaesthetised patients (55:45 male:female, median age 53 years) assessing: ease of use, airway quality, positioning, seal and complications. First insertion attempt was successful in 86 patients, second attempt in 11 patients, and third attempt in three patients. Fifty three manipulations were required in 26 patients (median 1) to achieve a clear airway. Median insertion time was 15 s. During ventilation, expired tidal volume of 7 ml x kg(-1) was achieved in 96 (96%) patients. Median airway leak pressure was 24 cmH(2)O. On fibreoptic examination via the device, vocal cords were visible in 87 patients (91%). During maintenance, six patients (6%) required 12 airway manipulations. There was one episode of regurgitation, without aspiration. Other complications and patient side-effects were mild and few. The i-gel is easily and rapidly inserted, providing a reliable airway in over 90% of cases. Further studies are indicated to assess safety and performance compared to other supraglottic airway devices.

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