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Neonatology. 2017;111(3):222-227. doi: 10.1159/000450691. Epub 2016 Nov 19.

Feasibility of Laryngeal Mask Airway Device Placement in Neonates.

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Mayo Medical School, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, Rochester, Minn., USA.



The laryngeal mask airway (LMA) has been used in adult and pediatric populations for decades. While the familiarity of its use in the neonatal population is increasing, there are few data investigating this.


The objective of this study was to determine the feasibility of LMA placement in neonates by investigating the time and number of attempts required for successful placement and physiologic stability during the placement of the device.


This study is one component of a national, multicenter, randomized controlled trial investigating surfactant administration through an LMA in neonates. Videotape of LMA placement was reviewed to determine the total procedure time and the number of attempts required to successfully place the device. Heart rate and oxygen saturation (SaO2) were analyzed as change from baseline, in order to examine physiologic stability during device placement.


Videotape and physiologic data were analyzed for 36 infants. Gestational age ranged from 293/7 to 354/7 weeks (mean 33 ± 1.7) with the birth weight ranging from 1,290 to 3,180 g (mean 2,006 ± 482). Average total procedure time was 88 s (±136) with 64% of the procedures successfully completed in <35 s. Successful placement was achieved on the first attempt in 69% of the cases. Compared to baseline, heart rate increased by an average of 1 bpm (±4.5) and SaO2 decreased an average of 6% (±7).


Successful placement was achieved in the majority of patients in <35 s and required only one attempt. Physiologic parameters were maintained close to baseline, measured by minimal fluctuation in heart rate and SaO2 during the procedure. Placement of the LMA is feasible in neonates.

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