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Vomiting and aspiration pneumonitis with the laryngeal mask airway


We report a case of severe aspiration pneumonitis in the dependent lung of a 74-yr-old man following Austin-Moore arthroplasty. A laryngeal mask airway provided a clear airway until anaesthesia became too light during manipulation of the fractured femoral head. Active vomiting occurred and gastric contents were “reflected” back into the trachea. Tracheal intubation and suction were immediately performed but the patient required postoperative ventilatory and inotropic support for three days.


On rapporte le cas d’une pneumonie d’aspiration sévère chez un homme agé de 74 ans après arthroplastie de Austin-Moore. Un masque laryngé a fourni un bon contrôle des voies aériennes jusqu’ à ce que l’anesthésie soit trop légère pour la manipulation de la fracture de l’artère fémoral. Des vomissements actifs sont survenus et le contenu gastrique fut aspiré dans la trachée. L’intubation trachéale et la suction furent immédiatement faites mais le patient a nécessité une ventilation postopératoire et un support inotrope pour trois jours.


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Correspondence to J. R. Maltby.

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Nanji, G.M., Maltby, J.R. Vomiting and aspiration pneumonitis with the laryngeal mask airway. Can J Anaesth 39, 69–70 (1992).

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Key words

  • Equipment: airway, laryngeal mask
  • Complications: aspiration, pneumonia