Airway Adjuncts: When It Is Required & How to Use It

In this micro-lecture, we discuss airway adjuncts;  Enrolled students have unlimited access to a rich library of learning materials such as this.

In today’s micro note here we’re going to talk about airway adjuncts. Now those of you who have attended the workshops will be pretty familiar with these airway adjuncts. Those of you who never heard of the term before, maybe doubt you’re preparing for the workshops, you’ll definitely get a chance to practice the use of these in the practical face to face workshops when you attend.

Now on the screen here we have two main types, we have the Nasopharyngeal tubes, which are these three here, different sizes. Denoted by the different colors. And the Nasal Pharyngeal (Nasopharyngeal) tubes. Now you’ll hear them being called Nasal Pharyngeal airways or Nasopharyngeal airways, you’ll even hear these ones being called the Guedel airway after the person who created them.

Now what you’ll notice with the oropharyngeal tubes is that they’re a solid plastic with this thing in the end, this colorful here is actually a bite block. Now the idea is that these oropharyngeal tubes go into oropharynx, so they’ve got their name for the position that they actually sit in.

Imagine this, you’ve arrived on scene at a first person that’s unconscious and you’re generate a response from them using a gentle pressure and shaking them, and there’s no response. So you have to open the airway using the head tilt, chin lift, or whichever method you think is appropriate. Then at some point you will place this into the patient’s mouth after you’ve measured it.

Now you measure it from the corner of the mouth to the end of earlobe, so this part at the part here, this part should be measured from the distal end to proximal end, it should be measured basically here. Again, you’ll get a chance to practice this in the workshop. You’ll place it into the patient’s mouth in an upside down position, and then you turn it and rotate it so it sits in the right position inside the patient’s mouth.

Now the good thing about the oropharyngeal tube is that it’s got this bite block. Now what that means is that if a patient starts to have a convulsion or a seizure, I mean the same thing, then they are gonna bite into this bite block as opposed to biting their tongue, biting their cheek, and causing upper respiratory or upper airway problems.

So that’s the Nasopharyngeal tube, now the Nasal Pharyngeal tube does the very same thing. It’s designed to provide a passage of air from the nose down the back, and allowing air to bypass any blockage, and therefore going to the lungs. These can be measured in a number of ways, but the most common of measuring is just by using the number 6, 7, and 8. 6 for a female, 7 for a larger female/small male, and 8 for just your general sized larger male.

Now these are inserted into the right nostril first, they are lubricated using the water based lubricant gel. They are placed into the tip of the nostril, then lifted up and gently twisted into they sit in place.

Now that’s our micro lecture on Nasopharyngeal and Nasal Pharyngeal tubes, and you will be getting a chance to have a practice with those in the workshops. My name’s Sam Willis (from the Australian Paramedical College), and I look forward to speaking to you again shortly. Thanks guys.

For more information about our courses and pathways to becoming a paramedic, call 1300 377 741.

What is your career journey?

To discover how you can become a fully qualified Ambulance Paramedic or Basic/Advanced Life Support Medic, complete a personalised paramedical career development plan.