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Airway Management

Airway Adjuncts

March 25th, 2020


Airway adjuncts are used to relieve upper airway obstruction.

Oropharyngeal Airway

An oropharyngeal airway is also known as a Guedel airway.
  • Sizing an Oropharyngeal Airway

  • Measure the airway from the angle of the mandible to the maxillary incisors.
  • How to Insert

  • Use suction to ensure that the mouth is clear of secretions
  • Angle the airway superiorly, toward the palate
  • Insert the airway into the oral cavity
  • Once the airway reaches the oropharynx, rotate it 180 degrees toward the larynx
  • Contraindications

  • Conscious patients
  • If the patient can cough or has a gag reflex

Nasopharyngeal Airway

  • Sizing a Nasopharyngeal Airway

  • Measure the airway from the tip of the earlobe to the nostril.
  • How to Insert

  • Point the bevel of the airway toward the midline
  • Insert the airway backward into the nasal cavity, until the flange reaches the nostril.
Lubricant may be used to facilitate insertion of a nasopharyngeal airway.
  • Contraindications

  • Suspected nasal / base of skull fracture
  • Active bleeding from the nose
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