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Supraglottic Airway Devices


Here’s a good idea 💡When you start your intern year take a peek in the airway carts at your institution and familiarize yourself with the device(s) they stock.

Jonathan St George MD

rapid review – SAD Placement

There are a number of supraglottic airway devices (SAD) out there so it’s good to be familiar with the various types. In this space we have a little fun with our survey of common devices: doing a rapid review of insertion technique for each. Then we get down to business and take a deeper dive into the full instruction videos, clinical pearls, and troubleshooting tips you need to feel comfortable with these important devices.

the igel

Easy to place and no inflation required

lma (the classic)

Easy to use, requires inflation. Found almost everywhere (you probably have one).

The King (LT that is)

Sorry we just can’t decide which one we like more, so here’s another version.

Often used in the pre-hospital setting. If you work in an emergency department you should recognize and know how to manage them.

Dive Deeper

Ready to get into it? Deep dive ahead 🤿

IGel placement

Newer devices like the iGel require no inflation which means you can ditch looking for that syringe. Easy to place they can be placed by most clinicians in an emergency with less training required compared to laryngoscopy or even face mask ventilation.

Classic LMA (requires inflating a cuff/mask)

The classic supraglottic airway device the laryngeal mask airway (LMA). They are everywhere and frequently found in difficult airway carts. Check to see if your institution stocks them and what kind they are.

King LT (often used in prehospital setting)

Not seen very often in the hospital setting they are frequently used in the prehospital environment. Which means that if you work in an emergency department you will have to know how to manage them.

Time to be SAD

When things get difficult during and intubation there is something you can reach for that is likely to get you out of trouble. Too bad we rarely think about using it…


Sometimes a supraglottic might be a bad choice or it may be difficult. For example the device is invasive compared to FMV and requires your patient to be unconscious. Here are some other predictors of difficulty.

Supraglottic airway devices in cardiac arrest care
With Chris Root MD


Curated FOAMED

Watch Dr Jose Torres – part of the PAC collaborative teach correct LMA placement technique on #Insta 👍

the bottom line

  • Don’t forget this valuable rescue device in your practice
  • SADs are a simple & effective upper airway lifeline
  • Require less technical skill than laryngoscopy or FMV
  • Be familiar with the devices used by your institution

For in person learners, locate any of the posters below within the installation to continue your training. Then snap the QR codes embedded within them to access the learning space. Look for the ✋emoji for integrated hands on training opportunities.

when you can’t be with us – Online learning

When you can’t be with us in person, you can still access all the same content on this topic. Simply click on the masterclass link below to take you to the online masterclass learning space.

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