A Study of the Use of Laryngeal Mask Airway (LMA) in Children and its Comparison with Endotracheal Intubation

Shahin N Jamil, Mehtab Alam, Hammad Usmani, M M Khan
Indian Journal of Anaesthesia 2009, 53 (2): 174-8
Laryngeal mask airway (LMA) is increasingly being used in children as it is less invasive compared to endotracheal intubation and causes less discomfort in the postoperative period. However, some concerns remained about its safety during positive pressure ventilation in children. In a prospective randomized trial, 100 ASA I and II children weighing between 10-20 kg in the range of 2-10 years of age, scheduled for elective surgery were randomly allocated to one of the two groups of 50 patients each. The efficacy of LMA in children during positive pressure ventilation, its haemodynamic changes and postoperative complications were compared to endotracheal intubation. Insertion of LMA was easier in 94% patients while endotracheal intubation was done easily in 53% of patients only (p<0.05). The changes in haemodynamic parameters were significantly higher after endotracheal intubation as compared to LMA placement. Furthermore these changes persisted for longer duration after endotracheal intubation in comparison to LMA insertion (5 min vs 3 min). Incidence of postoperative complications i.e. bronchospasm, laryngospasm and soft tissue trauma was significantly higher (p<0.05) after endotracheal intubation as compared to LMA insertion. To conclude, the laryngeal mask airway is a suitable alternative to endotracheal intubation for positive pressure ventilation in children.

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