An Overview on the Use of the Laryngeal Mask Airway amongst Anaesthesia Practitioners in a Developing Country
BACKGROUND: The aim of this study is to provide an overview on the use of the Laryngeal Mask Airway (LMA) amongst anaesthesia practitioners in Nigeria
MATERIALS AND METHODS: This is a multicentre questionnaire based study involving eight tertiary health care institutions in Nigeria. The questionnaires were administered to anaesthetists. They were standardised open- and close-ended questions which were completed in person. The questionnaire was subdivided into a set of questions
which include: status of the anaesthetist; the routine use of LMA in general anaesthesia and as a device for airway management in difficult airway. Statistical analyses were done by simple percentages.
RESULTS: The numbers of respondents were seventy; 38 were junior residents, 20 were senior residents and 12 were consultants. Sixty (85.7%) respondent had personally used LMA, while 10 had never used it and
they were all junior residents. Classic LMA was most commonly used (88%), followed by intubating LMA (7.5%), and proseal LMA (4.5%).
Most of the respondents (67.1%) have used LMA in difficult airway management while 10% of respondents had used it in airway management during cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). The reason for not using LMA routinely for general anaesthesia was due to unavailability in 15.7% of
respondents, inexperience in 8.6% and habitual in 30%.
CONCLUSION: Airway management is a vital discipline in the specialty of anaesthesia. The use of LMA as an airway device in the practice of anaesthesia in our setting is inadequate. Training, re-training and
continuous medical education of anaesthetists' very necessary to improve our practice.
KEY WORDS: laryngeal mask airway, anaesthetist, airway management.