Limitations of paediatric supraglottic airway devices as conduits for intubation – an in vitro study

Supraglottic airway (SGA) devices are commonly used as conduits for intubation but data and manufacturers recommendations are limited when it comes to paediatric SGA devices. This study is an in vitro and lab-based study that tested for compatibility between eight SGAs and six ETTs of different sizes. The authors have devised a table to help simplify the choice of an appropriate SGA and ETT.

Take Home Message / Commentary

  • Removal of the SGA after successful intubation was not feasible with all SGA-ETT combinations recommended by the manufacturers as the smaller ETTs had an outer diameter with the cuff’s pilot balloon that was larger than the inner diameter of the SGA.
  • The widest range of possible combinations was found with the Air-Q and the Air-Qsp.
  • Although this is an in vitro study, clinically it would seem that the removable tethered connector on the AirQ does add to its ease of use and the easier passage of the pilot balloon.

Reviewed by: Phillip Cheung