Introduction: To evaluate laryngeal mask airway (LMA) and intubating laryngeal mask airway (ILMA) placement by helicopter emergency medical services (HEMS) personnel after a comprehensive training program. Methods: HEMS flight staff attended a didactic and manikin-based training session for both devices. After this training, they attempted LMA and ILMA placement in live, anesthetized patients in an operating room (OR). Outcome measures included placement success rates with the LMA, ILMA, and endotracheal intubation through the ILMA, time to ventilation, and time to intubation. Success rates and time to ventilation were compared using chi-squared and analysis of variance (ANOVA), respectively. Mean time to ventilation for the first and second placements of both devices was examined with repeated measures ANOVA. Results: There was no difference in successful placement of the LMA compared with the ILMA (100% vs. 91%, P = .15). Ninety-five percent (19/20) of patients were successfully intubated through the ILMA. Time to intubation was 57.1 ± 55 seconds (range, 20-240). Mean time to ventilation with either device did not differ significantly (36.8 ± 17 vs. 38.05 ± 20 seconds; P = .29). Mean time to ventilation for the first and second placement of either the LMA (P = .45) or the ILMA (P = .47) was not statistically different. Conclusion: Trained HEMS flight staff are capable of effectively placing the LMA and ILMA in the operating room after a comprehensive training protocol.
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