Light-guided intubation via the intubating laryngeal mask using a prototype illuminated flexible catheter: Clinical experience in 400 patients
The transillumination of the soft tissues of the neck using lighted stylets has been used as an aid for tracheal intubation. We evaluated the efficacy and safety of a prototype illuminated flexible catheter to facilitate light-guided intubation through the intubating laryngeal mask. Methods:
The illuminated flexible catheter consists of a completely flexible thin plastic catheter with a bulb attached to its distal end. The device was placed into a silicone tracheal tube in such a way that the bulb was adjusted at the distal end of the tracheal tube. The tracheal tube preloaded with the device was inserted through the intubating laryngeal mask and, by observing the glow on the neck, was advanced into the trachea. We report our experience with light-guided intubation through the intubating laryngeal mask in 400 ASA grade 1–3 patients undergoing general anaesthesia. Results:
The intubating laryngeal mask was inserted successfully in all patients. The overall intubating success rate was 99.8% (399/400); in 367 (91.8%) cases at the first attempt, in 28 (7%) at the second, in 4 (1%) at the third and in one case (0.2%) at the fifth attempt. There were 27 patients with potentially difficult airways. All these cases were intubated successfully; in 23 of 27 (85.2%) at the first attempt, in 3 of 27 (11.1%) at the second and one of 27 patients (3.7%) at the third attempt. Conclusion:
We conclude that the use of the illuminated flexible catheter facilitates the intubation through the intubating laryngeal mask. The suggested light-guided intubating method proved to be a simple, safe and effective technique.