|LETTER TO EDITOR
|Year : 2021 | Volume
| Issue : 3 | Page : 213-214
Intubating supraglottic airway device as a possible intubation tool in patients with COVID-19
Arun Kumaar Srinivasan1, Manpreet Singh2
1 Department of Anaesthesiology, Mahatma Gandhi Medical College and Research Institute, Puducherry, India
2 Department of Anaesthesia and Intensive Care, Government Medical College and Hospital, Chandigarh, India
|Date of Submission||12-Jun-2021|
|Date of Acceptance||25-Aug-2021|
|Date of Web Publication||04-Oct-2021|
Prof. Manpreet Singh
Department of Anaesthesia and Intensive Care, Government Medical College and Hospital, Chandigarh
Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None
|How to cite this article:|
Srinivasan AK, Singh M. Intubating supraglottic airway device as a possible intubation tool in patients with COVID-19. Airway 2021;4:213-4
|How to cite this URL:|
Srinivasan AK, Singh M. Intubating supraglottic airway device as a possible intubation tool in patients with COVID-19. Airway [serial online] 2021 [cited 2022 Dec 7];4:213-4. Available from: https://www.arwy.org/text.asp?2021/4/3/213/327513
The maintenance of an adequate airway and functional respiration is the fundamental responsibility of anaesthesiologists during the conduct of anaesthesia. Although there are many ways to secure the airway, endotracheal intubation is the gold standard and still one of the most important skills in anaesthesia. We are battling with COVID-19 disease and airway handling in such patients exposes us to the risk of acquiring the virus as endotracheal intubation is an aerosol-generating procedure. The intubate COVID study reported that approximately 10% of those involved in tracheal intubation of patients with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 subsequently developed symptoms consistent with SARS-CoV-2 infection or a positive antigen test.
Several bodies across the globe issued airway management guidelines, but a universal consensus is still lacking, possibly due to the novelty of the disease. However, laryngoscopy is still believed to be the most definitive way of securing the airway. Although innovations designed to avoid aerosol contamination such as the intubation box or transparent sheets have been designed as barriers, their practical use is still not a standard practice. The Difficult Airway Society guidelines, All India Difficult Airway Association guidelines and Consensus UK COVID-19 airway management guidelines advocate videolaryngoscopy as the default technique for tracheal intubation.,
Several clinical studies have confirmed the efficacy of Fastrach™ laryngeal mask airway (LMA) as a conduit for tracheal intubation with a success rate >95%.,, Furthermore, the use of supraglottic airway device (SAD), especially a second-generation device, has been incorporated into various guidelines as a rescue when endotracheal intubation fails., Although it has been observed in the literature that the LMA Fastrach™, a second-generation SAD, has higher success rates of blind intubation, other newer second-generation intubating SADs such as Ambu® AuraGain™, Intubating Laryngeal Tube Suction and AirQ® SP mandate use of a fibreoptic bronchoscope (FOB) for intubation. The need for FOB is the first prerequisite for using these newer second-generation SADs. The use of ILMA in COVID patients is still feasible regardless of whether FOB is available or not. The success rate of blind endotracheal intubation is very high and hence it is suggested that in COVID patients, even those who pose difficult airway, the trachea can be intubated blindly through LMA Fastrach™. This would circumvent the need to visualise the vocal cords and thereby prevent exposure to aerosol-containing viral particles.
However, the use of an SAD has its downside also. The choice of a properly fitting SAD is of paramount importance. Patients need to be breathing spontaneously to decrease aerosolisation which might not always be feasible. There is also a need to avoid positive pressure exceeding the airway seal pressure as this can lead to aerosol generation and dissemination. In conclusion, we believe that a second-generation SAD not only offers an alternative means to endotracheal intubation to secure the airway but could also prevent aerosol exposure in a select population.
Financial support and sponsorship
Conflicts of interest
There are no conflicts of interest.
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