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Comparison of two face masks used to deliver early ventilation to laryngectomized patients

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June 1, 2004
by Rajiv K. Bhalla, BSc, MRCS ; Anita Corrigan, RGN, BA; Nicholas J. Roland, MD, FRCS
Abstract. Emergency airway management of laryngectomized patients is inherently complicated by the altered contours of their necks, by the presence of awkwardly placed tracheostomas, and by stomal strictures. Effective ventilation can also be compromised by the presence of hypertrophic peristomal scar tissue and by tumor recurrence. One common method of airway management involves the use of a pediatric face mask attached to a standard ventilation bag. We conducted a study of 20 laryngectomized patients to determine if they could be adequately ventilated through two commonly used pediatric face masks-the Laerdal mask and the Ambu mask. Ten of these patients had had an end tracheostoma in place for at least 1 year, and the remaining 10 had undergone stoma placement only recently. We found that all 20 patients achieved an adequate peristomal seal when using the Laerdal mask, whereas only 11 adequate seals were achieved with the Ambu mask. Therefore, we recommend that the Laerdal pediatric mask be used for early ventilation in laryngectomized patients.

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