AirQ® supraglottic airway

Claas Siegmueller



The AirQ® SGA has two special design features, the purpose of which is to facilitate the passage of an endotracheal tube through the device. These are:

  1. Endotracheal tube 'ramp': Integrated into the cuff part of this SGA, just beyond the distal tube opening, is an endotracheal tube 'ramp'. This plastic ridge is meant to help direct an ETT more anteriorly towards the larynx and thereby facilitate tube advancement through the vocal cords into the trachea.
  2. Detachable 15mm connector: The AirQ® SGAs can acommodate relatively large ET tubes, i.e ones that are bigger than the inner diameter of a standard 15mm connector. Before you can pass one of these bigger ET tubes through the AirQ®, you therefore need to remove the 15mm connector. It is tethered to the device to prevent it from getting lost.
Endotracheal tube 'ramp' of the AirQ® SGA
Removal of 15mm connector in preparation for advancing ET tube through the AirQ® SGA


Although the AirQ® has some cuff design features which distinguish it from the classic laryngeal mask design, it cannot really be considered a second generation SGA because it lacks a gastric channel/ drain tube. Maybe it could be described as a 'first generation device with additional features'.

The sizing in the adult range is a little different from most other SGAs in that the AirQ® comes in 'half sizes', i.e. 2.5, 3.5 and 4.5. The color-coding of the 15mm connector indicates the size. 

AirQ® supraglottic airway sizes and color coding; maximum ET tube size that can be inserted through the AirQ® as a conduit for each size


'Adult-size' AirQ® SGAs; color-coded 15mm connectors


It is important to note the maximum size ETT that will fit through each size AirQ® (after the 15mm connector has been disconnected). Conveniently, this ET tube size is printed onto the device (see picture below).

Maximum size ETT that will fit through each size AirQ® printed onto device (red arrow)


The AirQ® can be used in the same situations that would apply to other first generation SGAs.

Its unique 'selling point' is that it can be used as a conduit for endotracheal intubation with relative large-diameter standard ETTs. While an endotracheal tube can of course be passed through other SGAs as well, the AirQ® has a much larger internal diameter than other devices and therefore accomodates 'normal' ETT sizes, which other SGAs like an LMA Unique® or an i-gel® don't.

Blind passage of an ET tube through the AirQ® is not recommended. If the AirQ® is to be used as a conduit for intubation, use fiberoptic bronchoscope guidance

Another advantage of the AirQ is that the device can be removed after intubation. This requires a pusher rod from the same manufacturer.

More on how to use the AirQ® SGA as a conduit for intubation here.

Add new comment

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.