An oropharyngeal airway (also known as an oral airway, OPA or Guedel pattern airway) is a medical device called an airway adjunct used to maintain an open airway. When a person becomes unconscious, the muscles in their jaw relax and may allow the tongue to obstruct the airway; which in fact, the tongue is the most common cause of a blocked airway.
Sizes Available, Single Use Only
#00, 40 mm Infant | Pink
#0, 50 mm Infant | Blue
#1, 60 mm Child | Black
#2, 70 mm Child | White
#3, 80 mm Adult | Green
#4, 90 mm Adult | Yellow
#5, 100 mm Adult | Red
#6, 110 mm Adult | Orange
The correct size OPA is chosen by measuring against the patient’s head (from the earlobe to the corner of the mouth). The airway is then inserted into the patient’s mouth upside down. Once contact is made with the back of the throat, the airway is rotated 180 degrees, allowing for easy insertion, and assuring that the tongue is secured.
Correct measurement is very important, as the flared ends of the airway must rest securely against the oral opening in order to remain secure. An alternative method for insertion, the method that is recommended for OPA use in children and infants, involves holding the tongue forward with a tongue depressor and inserting the airway right side up.