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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

Guedel airways

Other airway pages