The Role of the Supraglottic Airway

  • Irene P. Osborn


The supraglottic airway (SGA) is a device designed for upper airway management, serving as a bridge, with respect to invasiveness, between facemask ventilation and endotracheal intubation. Most devices consist of an inflatable silicone or polyvinyl chloride mask and connecting tube. When blindly inserted into the pharynx, it forms a low-pressure seal around the laryngeal inlet. The SGA allows ventilation and oxygenation with less stimulation than laryngoscopy and intubation. The laryngeal mask airway (LMA) is the most commonly used SGA and has the largest body of experience and literature. The LMA was invented by Dr. Archie Brain and became commercially available in the UK in 1988 [1]. Dr. Brain remains involved in its continued development and evolution. The device has allowed for the advancement of anesthetic techniques for ambulatory and other types of surgery. It is particularly useful when intubation is difficult, hazardous, or unsuccessful (see Table 7.1).


Airway Management Laryngeal Mask Airway Positive Pressure Ventilation Difficult Airway Laryngeal Mask Airway ProSeal 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of AnesthesiologyMount Sinai Medical CenterNew YorkUSA

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