Oropharyngeal airway (e.g. Guedel airway)
What is a Guedel (oropharyngeal) airway?
- A Guedel is a rigid plastic tube which sits along top of mouth and ends at base of tongue (an adjunct to help keep airway open)
- An oxygen mask or bag mask ventilation can be applied over the top if needed
- Use: Prevents tongue covering epiglottis in patients with reduced GCS
- Size: Use one that matches the distance between the corner of the patient’s mouth and angle of their jaw
How to insert a Guedel airway
- Ensure no foreign bodies in the mouth
- Lubricate the oropharyngeal airway
- Insert into the mouth upside down (reduces risk of pushing tongue back)
- Once tip is around hard-soft palate junction, rotate 180˚ and advance the rest of the way
- If the patient gags it is unlikely they will tolerate this airway. Stop insertion and try a nasopharyngeal airway instead.
- Confirm airway patency
Video on Geudel airway insertion (oropharyngeal airway)
Sizes of Guedel airway
Other airway pages
How to insert a nasopharyngeal airway (NPA)
How to insert a supraglottic airway
How to insert an endotracheal tube (ETT)
What is a tracheostomy?