Extraglottic airway devices (EAD) have become an integral part of anesthetic care since their introduction into clinical practice 25 years ago and have been used safely hundreds of millions of times, worldwide. They are an important first option for difficult ventilation during both in-hospital and out-of-hospital difficult airway management and can be utilized as a conduit for tracheal intubation either blindly or assisted by another technology (fiberoptic endoscopy, lightwand). Thus, the EAD may be the most versatile single airway technique in the airway management toolbox. However, despite their utility, knowledge regarding specific devices and the supporting data for their use is of paramount importance to patient's safety. In this review, number of commercially available EADs are discussed and the reported benefits and potential pitfalls are highlighted.
Keywords: Extraglottic airway devices; laryngeal mask airway; other extraglottic airway devices.