How do different brands of size 1 laryngeal mask airway compare with face mask ventilation in a dedicated laryngeal mask airway teaching manikin?

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International neonatal resuscitation guidelines recommend the use of laryngeal mask airway (LMA) with newborn infants (≥34 weeks’ gestation or >2 kg weight) when bag-mask ventilation (BMV) or tracheal intubation is unsuccessful. Previous publications do not allow broad LMA device comparison.


To compare delivered ventilation of seven brands of size 1 LMA devices with two brands of face mask using self-inflating bag (SIB).


40 experienced neonatal staff provided inflation cycles using SIB with positive end expiratory pressure (PEEP) (5 cmH2O) to a specialised newborn/infant training manikin randomised for each LMA and face mask. All subjects received prior education in LMA insertion and BMV.


12 415 recorded inflations for LMAs and face masks were analysed. Leak detected was lowest with i-gel brand, with a mean of 5.7% compared with face mask (triangular 42.7, round 35.7) and other LMAs (45.5–65.4) (p<0.001). Peak inspiratory pressure was higher with i-gel, with a mean of 28.9 cmH2O compared with face mask (triangular 22.8, round 25.8) and other LMAs (14.3–22.0) (p<0.001). PEEP was higher with i-gel, with a mean of 5.1 cmH2O compared with face mask (triangular 3.0, round 3.6) and other LMAs (0.6–2.6) (p<0.001). In contrast to other LMAs examined, i-gel had no insertion failures and all users found i-gel easy to use.


This study has shown dramatic performance differences in delivered ventilation, mask leak and ease of use among seven different brands of LMA tested in a manikin model. This coupled with no partial or complete insertion failures and ease of use suggests i-gel LMA may have an expanded role with newborn resuscitation as a primary resuscitation device.

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