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Ambulkar R, Tan AYH, Chia NCH, Low TC
Correspondence: Dr Tan Yong Hui Addy, firstname.lastname@example.org
Introduction The intubating laryngeal mask airway (ILMA) is a specially-designed airway device that can be used for endotracheal intubation without direct laryngoscopy. The advantage of this device is that it allows blind endotracheal intubation with a predictably high success rate. The use of neuromuscular blocking agents in facilitating the use of the ILMA has been investigated in the Western population with a quoted successful intubation rate of 88-96 percent. This randomised, double-blind study aimed to see if the use of neuromuscular blocking agent is necessary for successful intubations.
Methods A total of 150 patients, rated categories 1 and 2 on the American Society of Anesthesiology Physical Status Classification System, were induced with propofol 2.5 mg/kg and fentanyl 2 microg/kg. After insertion of the ILMA, the patients received either saline or 0.6 mg/kg of rocuronium. After 90 seconds, tracheal intubation was attempted using the specially-designed silicon endotracheal tube. In addition to the success rate of intubation, the incidence of complications was also recorded.
Results The success rate for tracheal intubation within three attempts was 93.3 percent for the saline group and 92.0 percent for the rocuronium group; this was statistically insignificant. The time to securing the airway was 11.5 seconds for the saline group, compared to 10.0 seconds in the rocuronium group, but this was statistically insignificant. The incidence of coughing during insertion of the endotracheal tube was 42.7 percent in the saline group as compared to 1.3 percent in the rocuronium group (p-value is less than 0.001). 12 percent of the patients in the saline group moved during intubation, while none was reported to move in the rocuronium group (p-value is 0.003). These results compared favourably with rates quoted in studies conducted on Western populations.
Conclusion The intubating laryngeal mask airway-assisted intubation yields a high success rate, which was similar between the paralysed and non-paralysed patients, with no statistical significance. However, the non-paralysed patients were prone to coughing and movements during intubation, requiring supplemental propofol.
Keywords: intubating laryngeal mask airway, intubation, laryngeal mask airways, laryngeal masks, neuromuscular blocking agents
Singapore Med J 2008; 49(6): 462-465