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Numerous studies have shown that blindly inserted supraglottic airway devices (SADs) are sub-optimally placed in 50 to 80% of all cases. Placement under direct vision has been recommended. We describe the very first two new SADs of the third generation that incorporate a videoscope with flexible tip. Both devices are made up of two interlocking components-the SAD and a videoscope. The 3rd generation, direct vision SADs allow vision-guided insertion, corrective manoeuvres, if needed, and correct placement in the hypopharynx and possess additional features which permit insertion of a gastric tube and endotracheal intubation should the need arise. This article describes the two new devices' physical characteristics, features, rationale for use, advantages and limitations in comparison to existing devices. Each of the two new devices-the Video Laryngeal Mask (VLMTM, UE Medical®) and the SafeLM® Video Laryngeal Mask System (SafeLMTM VLMS, Magill Medical Technology®) consist of two parts: (a) a disposable 2nd generation SAD with a silicone cuff and an anatomically curved tube; and (b) a reusable patient-isolated videoscope and monitoring screen, with the flexible scope located into a specially-designed, blind-end channel terminating in the bowl of the SAD, preventing the videoscope from contacting patient body fluids in the SAD bowl. Third generation placement-under-direct-vision supraglottic airway devices possess several theoretical safety and ease of use advantages which now need to be validated in clinical use.

Original publication




Journal article


J Clin Monit Comput

Publication Date



Airway management, Anaesthesia, Complications, Supraglottic airway device, Videolaryngoscope