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Extraglottic airway devices: technology update

Bimla Sharma, Chand Sahai, Jayashree Sood
Medical Devices: Evidence and Research 2017, 10: 189-205
28860875
Extraglottic airway devices (EADs) have revolutionized the field of airway management. The invention of the laryngeal mask airway was a game changer, and since then, there have been several innovations to improve the EADs in design, functionality, safety and construction material. These have ranged from changes in the shape of the mask, number of cuffs and material used, like rubber, polyvinylchloride and latex. Phthalates, which were added to the construction material in order to increase device flexibility, were later omitted when this chemical was found to have serious adverse reproductive outcomes. The various designs brought out by numerous companies manufacturing EADs resulted in the addition of several devices to the airway market. These airway devices were put to use, many of them with inadequate or no evidence base regarding their efficacy and safety. To reduce the possibility of compromising the safety of the patient, the Difficult Airway Society (DAS) formed the Airway Device Evaluation Project Team (ADEPT) to strengthen the evidence base for airway equipment and vet the new extraglottic devices. A preuse careful analysis of the design and structure may help in better understanding of the functionality of a particular device. In the meantime, the search for the ideal EAD continues.

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