OROPHARYNGEAL AIRWAYS

They are metal, plastic or elastomeric instruments, which help to maintain the patency of the airway in an unconscious patient who is breathing spontaneously. They prevent the tongue from falling back by fitting snugly in the oral cavity. They come in various sizes and the correct size is calculated from the angle to the mouth to the angle of the jaw. Care must be taken to avoid using a larger size as the tip may press the epiglottis against the posterior pharyngeal wall causing airway obstruction. If smaller size tube is used, it may push the tongue into the posterior pharynx causing airway obstruction.

They are sterilized by cleaning in cold running water with detergent and then boiling / autoclaving / chemical disinfection / or gas sterilization.
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