Endotracheal intubation has been associated with several complications in cats. The v-gel supraglottic airway device (SGAD) has been developed to adapt to the unique oropharynx of the cat and to overcome these complications. Thirty-three cats were randomly assigned to receive an endotracheal tube (ETT group) or a v-gel SGAD (v-gel group) after induction of general anaesthesia. Third year veterinary students without previous clinical experience placed these devices under direct supervision of an anaesthesiologist. Amount of propofol, number of attempts, time required to secure the airway, leakage around the device, signs of upper airway discomfort and food consumption were compared between the two groups. The v-gel group required less propofol (P=0.03), less time (P<0.01) and fewer attempts (P<0.01) to secure the cats’ airway. The incidence of leakage was lower for the v-gel group immediately after placement of the device (P<0.01) and 60 minutes after induction of general anaesthesia (P=0.04). Cats that received the v-gel SGAD presented a lower incidence of upper airway discomfort immediately after the device was removed (P=0.03) and recorded a higher food consumption score (P=0.03). The v-gel SGAD is a feasible way to secure the airway of healthy cats when performed by inexperienced personnel.
- Endotracheal intubation
- Veterinary students
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