What are the different types of laryngeal mask airway (LMA)?

Updated: Dec 28, 2018
  • Author: Nichole Bosson, MD; Chief Editor: Guy W Soo Hoo, MD, MPH  more...
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Laryngeal mask airways come in several types, as follows:

  • The LMA Classic is the original reusable design.

  • The LMA Unique is a disposable version, making it ideal for emergency and prehospital settings. [10]

  • The LMA Fastrach, an intubating LMA (ILMA), is designed to serve as a conduit for intubation. [11] Although most LMA designs can serve this purpose, the LMA Fastrach has special features that increase the rate of successful intubation and do not limit the size of the endotracheal tube (ETT). These features include an insertion handle, a rigid shaft with anatomical curvature, and an epiglottic elevating bar designed to lift the epiglottis as the ETT passes.

  • The LMA Flexible has softer tubing. It is not used the in the emergency setting.

  • The LMA ProSeal has the addition of a channel for the suctioning of gastric contents. It also allows for 50% higher pressures without a leak. However, it does not permit blind intubation and is not currently used in the emergency setting.

  • The LMA Supreme, which is a newer design, is similar to the ProSeal and has a built-in bite block. [10]

  • Another newer design is the LMA CTrach, which inserts like the LMA Fastrach and has built-in fiberoptics with a video screen that affords a direct view of the larynx.

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