I recently attended a course where I was introduced to the i-gel. It appeared easier, quicker and more effective than an LMA (I have never been fond of LMA's).
I feel the i-gel certainly has a place in pre hospital care and is another valuable airway option. It was interesting to see insertion done whilst ECC where being continuously performed during an arrest scenario.
I agree that ET is still the gold standard in airway management. Also I noted that drug administration was not indicated via the i-gel, unlike ET tubes. I was advised on the course that an ET tube could be blindly inserted through an in situ i-gel. I am yet to fully look into and practice that though.
From an operational stand point where there are often limited operators with EMT training/experience and transport/time critical patients; its a good thing. I think it will add a new skill and capability for EMT B/I in airway management.
NP/OP have a role, but I always attempt to apply best practice if it does not mean compromising the patient and lead to deterioration; ie if the circumstances and time permit secure the airway with an ET.
I have refresher training on the Emergency Airway Management Course at Singapore General Hospital next month. I will take an i-gel and speak to the staff there and see what their opinion is.
In summary, the i-gel is quick, easy to use, and easy to teach……. I rate it.