Citation for Dr.Muhammed Aslam Nasir
Dr.Muhammed Aslam Nasir is the inventor of iGel, a second generation supraglottic airway device that has firmly established itself amongst the preferred airway devices in the world.
Muhammed was born in Tulamba on the 27th of August 1961. The small but historical town of Tulamba, lies in the Northeastern frontier of Pakistan. From here Muhammed completed his school education with distinction and a scholarship. He won the ‘President of Pakistan Scholarship’ for his degree in Medicine from Nishtar Medical College and University Hospital in Multan.
After a two year sojourn in surgery in Lahore he switched to anaesthetics. He completed his Anesthetic training from Jinnah Postgraduate Medical University and the Aga Khan University Hospital in Karachi, Pakistan.
It was in Karachi that he conceptualized iGel, inspired by Sir Archie Brain’s LMA. After an illustrious career in Pakistan, he came to the UK in 1990 to further his experience in Anaesthesia. He worked for the Royal Airforce Hospitals and various NHS trusts before he joined Luton and Dunstable NHS trust. After the success of iGel he decided to sacrifice his anesthetic career and to dedicate his entire time to the development and perfection of the product. iGel won the Ministry of Trade and industry ‘Smart Award’ in 2003. This was a significant success for Muhammed and iGel. It won favours particularly in emergency medicine because of the unique design which makes it easy and quick to establish an airway even in the hands of novices. The first generation LMA made of silicone could bend, twist and needed a cuff inflation to establish an airway and prevent leaks. Muhammed’s challenge was to find a more secure airway that would be midway between an LMA and an endotracheal tube.
In his own words, “I wanted a device that was single-use, softer than the human tongue, and designed to minimise post-operative complications”.
He persevered for nearly a decade working with casts taken from cadavers and with some support from world experts before he discovered the right material that could make the supraglottic part of his device. The material of his choice was SEBS (styrene ethylene butadiene styrene). This was ‘soft, malleable and yet robust enough to perform efficiently in the most testing clinical scenarios’. It is this material that prompted the parent company Intersurgical to give it the name iGel.
iGel’s non inflatable cuff made its insertion safer, faster and atraumatic. It has a built-in gastric channel that provides an early warning of regurgitation, allows for the passing of a nasogastric tube to empty the stomach contents and can facilitate the venting of gas from the stomach. Its additional features such as a built-in bite block, a buccal stabiliser to minimise rotation in situ and an epiglottic rest to prevent the epiglottis from down-folding, gave this second generation SAD a high safety profile.
After 19 years of hard work, the product was officially launched in January 2007 at the Association of Anaesthetists of Great Britain and Ireland’s Winter Scientific Meeting at the QEII Conference Centre in London. After the success of iGel Dr Muhammed Nasir has developed v-Gel for use in veterinary medicine particularly in rabbits and cats.
Dr Muhammed Nasir also founded the charity light4life in 2005 to help victims of the Pakistan earthquake in 2005 and floods in 2010. He supports several other health and educational projects in Pakistan.While Sir Archie Brain’s LMA was a distinct revolutionary moment in the history of anaesthesia and airway management, Muhammed Nasir’s iGel is a further momentous leap in the evolution of the supraglottic device. Because of the parallels between these two great inventors, I have given Muhammed the title of ‘Karachi Brain’ a title that rhymes with Sir Archie Brain and one that Muhammed likes.
For his invaluable contribution to the management of airway, DAS is proud to present Dr. Muhammed Aslam Nasir the coveted ‘Macewen Award’.
Dr. Subrahmanyan Radhakrishna
Hon Secretary DAS


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