CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 · Am J Perinatol
DOI: 10.1055/s-0040-1721379
Original Article

Proficiency of Laryngeal Mask Airway Insertion Skill in NRP Certified Providers

1  Department of Pediatrics, University at Buffalo, Buffalo, New York
Munmun Rawat
1  Department of Pediatrics, University at Buffalo, Buffalo, New York
› Author Affiliations


Objective In 2015, Neonatal Resuscitation Program (NRP) recommended laryngeal mask airway (LMA) as an alternative to the endotracheal tube (ETT) in situations where the provider is “unable to intubate and unable to ventilate.” LMA insertion is being taught in the NRP routinely. However, endotracheal intubation is the primary method considered as the standard of care in neonatal resuscitation. LMA insertion is a relatively simple procedure with an average insertion time of < 10 seconds. Newer generation LMA can have the added advantage of reducing the risk of aerosol generation and improving the safety of the providers. Only a few recent studies have evaluated the LMA insertion skills of neonatal resuscitation providers. We wanted to study the proficiency of NRP providers in the technique of LMA insertion. We hypothesized that NRP providers would have LMA insertion skills equivalent to the standard of care (ETT insertion).

StudyDesign A manikin-based study was done from July 2019 to December 2019. We enrolled 31 NRP providers with 1 or more years since the first certification and current valid NRP provider/instructor status. The participants were instructed to insert an ETT and LMA in the manikin. The procedures were video recorded. The time taken to insert and start ventilation with each device, including the number of attempts for successful insertion, was noted. A Likert scale questionnaire was filled by each participant indicating the level of confidence, perception of ease, and the ability to provide effective positive pressure ventilation (PPV) with each of the procedures. The paired t-test, chi-square test, and Kruskal–Wallis' test were used for the statistical analysis.

Results Eight (25.8%) out of the 31 participants failed to insert any one of the devices. So, 23 providers were analyzed for the outcomes. We found that the mean duration taken to insert the ETT and LMA was not statistically different (32 vs. 36 seconds). LMA insertion had a higher failure rate compared with ETT. Providers did not perceive confidence to insert LMA when compared with ETT. They did not recognize LMA insertion as a more effortless procedure relative to endotracheal intubation. The providers felt that their ability to provide effective PPV using LMA was inferior to ETT.

Conclusion The NRP certified providers in this study did not demonstrate proficiency in the insertion of LMA equivalent to the endotracheal intubation.

Key Points

  • LMA insertion skill was studied in NRP providers using a manikin.

  • Providers had a higher frequency of failure in inserting LMA compared to ETT.

  • Providers' perceived confidence and effectiveness of the LMA procedure were inferior to ETT.

Authors' Contributions

S.M. contributed to conceptualization, methodology, formal analysis, investigation, and writing the original draft. M.R. contributed to conceptualization, supervision, reviewing, and editing of the manuscript.

Publication History

Received: 15 September 2020

Accepted: 16 October 2020

Publication Date:
29 November 2020 (online)

© 2020. The Author(s). This is an open access article published by Thieme under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonDerivative-NonCommercial License, permitting copying and reproduction so long as the original work is given appropriate credit. Contents may not be used for commercial purposes, or adapted, remixed, transformed or built upon. (

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