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1.  The Intubating Laryngeal Mask Airway Allows Tracheal Intubation When the Cervical Spine Is Immobilized by a Rigid Collar 
British journal of anaesthesia  2004;93(5):655-659.
Summary
An intubating laryngeal mask airway (ILMA) facilitates tracheal intubation with the neck in neutral position, which is similar to the neck position maintained by a rigid cervical collar. However, a cervical collar virtually obliterates neck movement, even the small movements that normally facilitate airway insertion. We therefore tested the hypothesis that the ILMA facilitates tracheal intubation even in patients wearing a rigid cervical collar. In 50 cervical spine surgery patients with a rigid Philadelphia collar in place and 50 general surgery patients under general anaesthesia, we performed blind tracheal intubation via an ILMA. The time required for intubation, intubation success rate, and numbers and type of adjusting manoeuvres employed were recorded. Inter-incisor distance was significantly smaller (4.1 [0.8] cm vs. 4.6 [0.7] cm, mean [SD], P<0.01) and Mallampati scores were significantly greater (P<0.001) in the collared patients. ILMA insertion took longer (30 [25] vs. 22 [6] seconds), more patients required 2 insertion attempts (15 vs. 3; P<0.005), and ventilation adequacy with ILMA was worse (P<0.05) in collared patients. However, there were no significant differences between the collared and control patients in terms of total time required for intubation (60 [41] vs. 50 [30] seconds), number of intubation attempts, overall intubation success rate (96 vs. 98%), or the incidence of intubation complications. Blind intubation through an ILMA is thus a reasonable strategy for controlling the airway in patients who are immobilized with a rigid cervical collar, especially when urgency precludes a fiberoptic approach.
doi:10.1093/bja/aeh248
PMCID: PMC1283102  PMID: 15321932
anaesthesia; intubation; tracheal; laryngeal mask; cervical collar

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