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Title:A comparison of blind and lightwand-guided tracheal intubation through the intubating laryngeal mask
Author(s):Kihara, S. Watanabe, S. Taguchi, N. Suga, A. Brimacombe, J. R.
Address:Department of Anasthesia, Pain Clinic and Clinical Toxicology, Mito Saiseikai General Hospital, 3 3-10 Futabadai, Mito, Ibaraki 311-4198, Japan.
Year:2000 May
Journal Title:Anaesthesia
Page Number:427-31
ISSN/ISBN:0003-2409 (Print)
Abstract:We have tested the hypothesis that intubation success rates, haemodynamic changes, airway complications and postoperative pharyngolaryngeal morbidity differ between blind and lightwand-guided intubation through the intubating laryngeal mask airway. One hundred and twenty paralysed anasthetised adult patients (ASA I-II, no known or predicted difficult airways) were assigned in a random manner to one of two equal-sized groups. In the blind group, patients were intubated blindly through the intubating laryngeal mask airway. In the lightwand group, patients were intubated through the intubating laryngeal mask airway assisted by transillumination of the neck with a lightwand. A standard sequence of adjusting manoeuvres was followed if resistance occurred during intubation or if transillumination was incorrect. The number of adjusting manoeuvres, time to intubation, intubation success rates, haemodynamic changes (pre-induction, pre-intubation, postintubation), oesophageal intubation, mucosal trauma (blood detected), hypoxia (oxygen saturation < 95%) and postoperative pharyngolaryngeal morbidity (double-blinded) were documented. Overall intubation success was similar (blind, 93%; lightwand, 100%), but time to successful intubation was significantly shorter (67 vs. 46 s, p = 0. 027) and the number of adjusting manoeuvres was significantly fewer (p = 0.024) in the lightwand group. There were no significant differences in blood pressure or heart rate between the groups at any time. Oesophageal intubation occurred more frequently in the blind group (18 vs. 0%, p = 0.002). The incidence and severity of mucosal injury, sore throat and hoarseness were similar between the groups. We conclude that lightwand-guided intubation through the intubating laryngeal mask is superior to the blind technique.

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