Awake intubation of the difficult airway with the intubating laryngeal mask airway

J. Shung, M. S. Avidan, R. Ing, D. G. Klein, L. Pott

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

69 Scopus citations


The intubating laryngeal mask airway is a new device that facilitates intubation of the trachea. We assessed its use in 15 awake patients in whom we anticipated difficulty with tracheal intubation; we would otherwise have secured the patients' airways using a fibreoptic bronchoscope. All patients were sedated and had their airways anaesthetised with local anaesthetic. The tracheas of all 15 patients were successfully intubated. The mean time from start of sedation to successful intubation was 10.8 min. The mean time from completion of sedation and airway local anaesthesia to tracheal intubation was 2.8 min. Patients remained haemodynamically stable throughout, peripheral oxygen saturation was maintained and there were no obvious cases of pulmonary aspiration. Most patients complained of sore throat and hoarseness. We have demonstrated through this descriptive study that the intubating laryngeal mask airway may, in certain circumstances, be used as an alternative to the fibreoptic bronchoscope.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)645-649
Number of pages5
Issue number7
StatePublished - 1998


  • Equipment; intubating laryngeal mask


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