this study was a nice collaborative project with a radiologist, lab animal veterinarian, and pathologist. rabbits have a reputation of being difficult to intubate (placing a breathing tube in their windpipes), as it takes practice to master the technique. as a result, a new device, the v-gel has been developed to make the process of providing oxygen and anesthetic agent faster and simpler. in a fairly simple study we compared the v-gel to traditional airway management (endotracheal intubation). the v-gel was faster to place than the endotracheal tube and, importantly, placing it was consistently quick, minimizing any period of decreased ventilation.
where the v-gel did not perform as well as expected was in the size of airway provided: it showed a tendency for the tip of the device to migrate towards the larynx and reduce the airway diameter. though this reduction in diameter was unfortunate, it was not smaller than with an endotracheal tube.
the paper is available open access through the Frontiers group (with access to the rather snazzy video pictured below):