The intubating laryngeal mask: use of a new ventilating-intubating device in the emergency department

Ann Emerg Med. 1999 Feb;33(2):234-8. doi: 10.1016/s0196-0644(99)70401-4.


The intubating laryngeal mask airway (ILM) was introduced in 1997 as a modification of the classic laryngeal mask airway. In addition to serving as an elective or emergency ventilating device, it is designed to allow blind intubation. We report 3 cases of airway management in the emergency department of Yale-New Haven Hospital where the ILM was used to establish ventilation and intubation in patients in whom direct laryngoscopy had failed. The 3 cases are representative of situations commonly seen in the ED: the obtunded and apneic ("crash airway") patient, failed rapid sequence intubation, and the recognized difficult airway/awake intubation. In all 3 cases, a clear airway was established on initial placement of the ILM, and intubation was achieved on the first attempt at blind advancement of the endotracheal tube. Although the ILM may be an important addition to the armamentarium of the emergency physician, proficiency in its use requires practice under controlled conditions. We suggest that the emergency physician seek out elective practice in either a teaching workshop or hospital operating theater.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Apnea / complications
  • Apnea / therapy*
  • Emergency Service, Hospital*
  • Humans
  • Laryngeal Masks*
  • Male
  • Mandible / anatomy & histology
  • Obesity / complications