Background: For a newborn requiring positive-pressure ventilation (PPV), the American Heart Association recommends bag-and-mask ventilation, a challenging procedure for those inexperienced in neonatal resuscitation. The objective of this prospective study was to evaluate the laryngeal mask airway (LMA) as an alternative method of airway management in neonates requiring PPV at birth.
Methods: With the approval of the institutional ethics committee, consent was obtained from women in labor at a tertiary care-perinatal center. Inclusion criteria consisted of an expected birth weight of at least 2.5 kg, gestational age of at least 35 weeks, and resuscitation requiring PPV. Neonates meeting these criteria were resuscitated with PPV by means of the LMA. The ease of insertion, number of attempts required, time to establish effective ventilation, skin color, heart rate, respiratory effort, and Apgar scores were recorded.
Results: Attendance by the investigators at delivery was achieved in 93 cases, with 21 meeting the inclusion criteria. In all cases, the LMA was successfully inserted on the first attempt and provided a clinically patent airway. Twenty neonates were successfully resuscitated with the LMA to provide PPV, with no complications directly attributable to its use. One neonate required LMA removal and tracheal intubation to facilitate administration of epinephrine; data from this case was removed from the study.
Conclusions: Providing PPV at birth via a size-1 LMA is effective and easily learned by personnel with expertise in neonatal resuscitation. The LMA should be further assessed as an alternative to bag-and-mask ventilation for this purpose.