SMTL Medical Disposable Datacard

Laryngeal Mask

All Wales Contract: Anaesthetic and endotracheal
Sterility Status: Sterile
Usage Status: single use, reusable and semi-reusable


Laryngeal masks (LMs) can also be known as laryngeal airway devices (LADs) and laryngeal mask airways (LMAs).  LMs sit above the larynx and provide an airway.  LMs consist of a transparent airway tube (usually made of silicone or PVC) with a standard 15 mm connector at one end and a cuff at the other. Some cuffs are inflatable and are attached to a pilot balloon (single-use pilot balloons are usually transparent) via a narrow inflation tube.

2 types of LMs exist: the reinforced (or flexible) LM has a reinforced airway tube to be more kink resistant (the tube wall most commonly contains coiled wire) whereas a standard LM does not possess reinforced metal within the tube. Single use and reusable LMs exist (although reusable LMs are less commonly used as quality and cost of disposable alternatives improve). Reusable LMs can be reprocessed and reused up to 40 times.

There are many variants of LMs.  Some facilitate intubation and some possess an additional drainage tube to allow early warning of regurgitation. Intavent Orthofix produce the 'LMA Pro-Seal' which possesses an additional drainage tube to provide direct access to stomach contents, in order to protect against aspiration and to resist build up of pressure from inadvertent inflation of the stomach during ventilation. The 'I-Gel' (Intersurgical) also possesses a gastric channel and a gel cuff which does not require inflation.

Some reusable LMs are supplied 'clean' and need to be sterilised before use.


Key areas where used

  • Theatres
  • Accident and Emergency
  • Ambulance

Method of use

Used for airway management in theatres, for the administration of anaesthetic gases and for maintaining patient ventilation during emergency procedures. LMs can also be used in ambulances and in Accident and Emergency departments for resuscitation purposes during emergencies. Standard LMs are more commonly used than reinforced LMs. Reinforced LMs are used in cases when the surgeon and anaesthetist share airway access (such as ENT and dental procedures) as the LM can be bent away from the surgical field without the tube kinking.  LMs can also be used to manage difficult airways and can provide a guide through which an ET tube or flexible endoscope may be inserted. To insert an inflatable LM, the cuff is deflated using a syringe and the LM introduced into the mouth until it sits at the back of the hypopharynx. After the mask is in place, the cuff is inflated and the ventilation procedure continues.


Individually packaged in a peel pouch

Sizes Required

  • Sizes 1-6 (must be able to permit the passage of a size 6 ETT). Neonatal, paediatric and adult are available


Example products

The following table lists examples of products known to be acceptable for this product description.

Brand Name Product Code Manufacturer
Standard single-use theatre LMA 7130U Intavent Orthofix
Flexible (reinforced) single-use LMA 7130 FSU Intavent Orthofix
Standard single-use LAD 777400 Marshall Products
Flexible LMA-reusable 7120R Intavent Orthofix


P Phillips and J Ford

Please inform SMTL of any inaccuracies noted or changes required in this datacard.


This datacard has been prepared as an aid to contracting for purchasers in the NHS in Wales, and should not be used as a substitute for literature, instructions or training from the manufacturers of the devices.

Products mentioned in this datacard are for illustration purposes only and should not be seen as an endorsement of these products.

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