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Neonatology. 2018;113(2):152-161. doi: 10.1159/000481979. Epub 2017 Dec 13.

The Laryngeal Mask Airway and Its Use in Neonatal Resuscitation: A Critical Review of Where We Are in 2017/2018.

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Newborn Services, John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford University Hospitals, NHS Trust, Headley Way, Oxford, UK.


Studies using videotape recordings and respiratory function monitoring have shown that both face mask (FM) application and endotracheal tube (ETT) placement represent a challenge for resuscitators. Hence, there is a strong need for devices that can largely be used independently of individual operator training levels, in order to ensure more reliable support in time-critical situations, such as neonatal resuscitation. The laryngeal mask airway device (LMA) has evolved as a potentially very valuable tool. We conducted a systematic review of studies evaluating the use of the LMA in neonatal resuscitation. An electronic literature search of large medical databases was performed to identify relevant publications on the use of an LMA during neonatal delivery room (DR) resuscitation. Following a rigorous systematic review, we identified a total of 7 randomized controlled trials with results indicating that initial respiratory management of newborn infants with an LMA is feasible for a defined subgroup of infants, but the evidence is still insufficient to recommend the LMA instead of FM ventilation in the DR. There is, in particular, a dearth of evidence of the use of LMA in neonates born before 34 weeks' gestational age or weighing <1,500 g at birth. There were no reports on significant complications following the use of LMA; however, evidence is still limited regarding short- and long-term outcomes. We conclude that the limited currently available evidence suggests that the use of the LMA is a feasible and safe alternative to mask ventilation of late preterm and term infants in the DR. The potential use of LMA resuscitation, in particular for low-gestation and low-birth-weight infants, needs further study.


Intubation; Laryngeal mask airway; Newborn; Resuscitation; Stabilization

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