What are potential complications of laryngeal mask airway (LMA) insertion?

Updated: Dec 28, 2018
  • Author: Nichole Bosson, MD; Chief Editor: Guy W Soo Hoo, MD, MPH  more...
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Rare complications due to laryngeal mask airway (LMA) insertion occur in the operating room. The rate of complications was 0.15% in a large study, [22] but the rate is likely to be higher in the emergency setting. Such complications include the following:

  • Aspiration of gastric contents

  • Local irritation

  • Upper airway trauma: Pressure-induced lesions, nerve palsies

  • Mild sympathetic response

  • Complications associated with improper placement: Obstruction, laryngospasm

  • Complications associated with positive-pressure ventilation [23] : Pulmonary edema, bronchoconstriction

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