Initial experience of emergency physicians using the intubating laryngeal mask airway: A case series

Marc Martel, Robert F. Reardon, Josh Cochrane

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Objective: Although the intubating laryngeal mask airway (ILMA) is widely available, its use by emergency physicians (EPs) has not been reported. The authors report the initial experience of EPs using the ILMA. A review of their experience and the relevant anesthesia literature provides a basis for EPs to use the ILMA more confidently and effectively. Methods: Between January 2000 and January 2001, the ILMA was used on a convenience sample of emergency department (ED) patients undergoing "routine" intubations, and "rescue" situations, after failed rapid-sequence intubation (RSI). Patients were identified from the ED resuscitation case database. Chart review and intubating physician interviews focused on success of the device, complications encountered, and "pearls" of the device's use as perceived by the intubating physician. Results: Ventilation with the appropriate-size ILMA occurred in less than 15 seconds in all "routine" intubations; tracheal intubation was subsequently accomplished in less than 1 minute. Eight of nine "routine" patients had blind tracheal intubation through the ILMA. One patient required fiberoptic bronchoscopy to guide the endotracheal tube into the trachea. Of the "rescue" intubations, all patients (n = 7) were successfully ventilated and five were successfully intubated using the ILMA. Conclusions: In this case series, the ILMA was easy to use in acute resuscitations, and proved to be invaluable in cases of failed RSI.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)815-822
Number of pages8
JournalAcademic Emergency Medicine
Issue number8
StatePublished - 2001


  • Airway management
  • Emergency department
  • Endotracheal intubation
  • ILMA
  • Intubating laryngeal mask airway


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