Evaluation of the efficacy of the Baska Mask
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The Baska mask is a new supraglottic airway device (SAD). Its novel features include a non-inflatable cuff consisting of a silicone membrane, and an oesophageal drainage system with sump reservoir, connected to 2 drainage channels. The proposed advantages include superior airway seal, reduced pressure on the surrounding tissues, and improved drainage of regurgitated gastric content. We wished to evaluate the performance and safety profile of this novel device. There were no independent clinical trials or any other clinical data available at the inception of the work on our project. We conducted 3 pilot studies on adult female, male and paediatric patients as well as a randomised controlled trial comparing the Baska mask with a single use classical laryngeal mask airway device. We also performed fibreoptic examinations of the behaviour of the Baska mask cuff in situ in anaesthetised adult patients. The Baska mask demonstrated an airway seal superior to that reported for other SADs and comparable overall insertion success rates of 93 - 97%, yet lower first time success rates of 71- 85% and higher device difficulty scores. The significance of the latter is unclear as the experience with this device is limited and the sizing guidelines may be suboptimal. The device safety profile was reassuring in our studies of adult patients. Further work is required to define the device safety profile in children. The fibreoptic examinations demonstrated that the Baska mask cuff is in extensive contact with the mucosa around the laryngeal inlet. This potentially explains the superior airway seal. We conclude that the Baska mask demonstrated promise as an alternative SAD, and is worth of further clinical evaluation. Additional studies are required to define the optimal device sizing guidelines, and to expand our knowledge of the device performance and safety profile.