I-gel Airways

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Guide to Using the I-gel for Airway Adjuncts

The I-gel is an advanced medical device used in situations where traditional airway maintenance techniques fail. This guide provides insights into its application and usage.

When to Consider the I-gel

The I-gel comes into play when standard airway adjuncts aren't effective, especially in cases that involve:

  • Potential vomiting threats: This includes situations that pose a risk of choking.
  • High-risk airways: Such as in pregnancies or poisoning scenarios, e.g. overdoses.

Although the primary attempt should be made with an OPR nasopharyngeal airway, sometimes, a supraglottic airway is required when the former proves inadequate.

Choosing the Right I-gel Size

I-gels are weight-adjusted. For instance, a size four I-gel caters to individuals weighing between 50 to 90 kilograms. Ensure the size matches the patient's weight range for optimal efficacy.

Preparation and Insertion

  • Material Attributes: The I-gel's thermal plastic design makes it soft, enabling it to adapt to a patient's oropharynx shape once it reaches body temperature. Its inherent stickiness requires lubrication before use.
  • Lubrication: Prior to insertion, lubricate the I-gel's back, avoiding the front. This ensures it fits over the larynx's opening seamlessly.
  • Insertion Technique: Tilt the patient's head back, remove any previous inadequate airway device, and hold the I-gel like a pen. Direct the tip towards the mouth's hard plate, using your index finger to guide it backward and upward. The device should feel like it's slotting into place.

Confirming and Securing the I-gel

Once inserted, it's crucial to ensure the I-gel functions correctly:

  • Confirmation: Attach a catheter mount, use a bag valve mask, and observe the chest's rising and falling movements. Further, use a stethoscope to verify the correct placement.
  • Securing: Upon confirming its position and functionality, it's vital to secure the I-gel. Utilising tools like care bands can effectively keep the device in place.


The I-gel is an indispensable tool in advanced airway management. By following these guidelines, medical professionals can ensure the safety and wellbeing of their patients.