The Fastrach Intubating Laryngeal Mask Airway: an overview and update

Can J Anaesth. 2010 Jun;57(6):588-601. doi: 10.1007/s12630-010-9272-x. Epub 2010 Jan 29.


Purpose: To provide an evidence-based overview and update on the use of the Fastrach Intubating Laryngeal Mask Airway (FT-LMA) when used within operative and non-operative settings.

Principal findings: The FT-LMA is available in three sizes to provide ventilation and the ability to pass an endotracheal tube (ETT) into the trachea blindly, semi-blindly, or with indirect visualization for patients over 30 kg. The Chandy maneuver is recommended routinely; the first maneuver optimizes ventilation, and the second maneuver increases success at endotracheal intubation (ETI). The manufacturer's reinforced tube or a pre-warmed or reversed standard ETT may be utilized. Insertion and ventilation are successful in almost all patients. Blind ETI is highly successful; adjuncts are generally not necessary. The FT-LMA has a proven role in the airway management of anticipated difficult operating room (OR) intubations, unanticipated OR intubations, cervical spine injuries, and limited airway access situations. Literature in the pre-hospital and emergency department settings is limited but favourable. The FT-LMA has compared favourably with fibreoptic intubation, the LMA-Classic, the laryngeal tube, and the CobraPLA. Initially, the more expensive LMA CTrach appeared to be more successful, but overall it is not. The FT-LMA airway seal pressures are excellent; serious complications are uncommon, and the FT-LMA figures prominently in most difficult airway guidelines.

Conclusions: The FT-LMA has proven to be a useful difficult airway device both within and outside of the operating room. Effective ventilation is established in nearly all cases, and blind ETI is possible in the vast majority of cases if the optimal techniques described are used. Serious complications are uncommon.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Equipment Design
  • Fiber Optic Technology / methods
  • Humans
  • Intubation, Intratracheal / instrumentation
  • Intubation, Intratracheal / methods
  • Laryngeal Masks* / adverse effects
  • Postoperative Complications / etiology*
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic
  • Respiration, Artificial / methods*