“This is a landmark achievement to maintain the airway in the unconscious person during anesthesia or in the resuscitation field”

  • Dr. Somayaji Ramamurthy MD
  • Prof. of Anesthesiology: University Hospital in San Antonio, TX
  • South Texas Veterans Health Care System – San Antonio

Lower Jaw-Thrusting (LJT ) Oropharyngeal (Oral) Airways

PROVEN TO OPEN AND MAINTAIN THE OROPHARYNGEAL OPENING AND CONTROL THE TONGUE

 
It is estimated that over 350 million oropharyngeal (oral) airways are used every year around the world, during anesthesia, on semiconscious / unconscious patient’s and during CPR. But would it surprise you to know that current common Guedel and Berman oral airways have been clinically proven to be deficient in opening and maintaining the oropharynx airway? That’s why we developed LJT Oral Airways!

 

The two-leading oral airways were introduced over 80 and 65 years ago, but the simple fact is that medical science has taken leaps and bounds since that time but, unfortunately, with what we know today regarding anatomical physiology, they are an old “hold over” from the past and they do not adequately fulfill all of the requirements to maintain the airway in semiconscious / unconscious patients.

Common oral airways are:

 

  • Deficient at opening and maintaining the oropharynx airway
  • Not designed to control the ever-problematic tongue
  • Possess no dimensional consistencies across sizing – affecting how it impacts a patients anatomy

Oral Airways Developed by an Anesthesiologist for Anesthesiologists
LJT Oropharyngeal Airways were the brain-child of Dr. T.R. Shantha, a Nobel-nominated research scientist, physician and practicing anesthesiologist for over 4 decades. Using his clinical knowledge of the drawbacks associated with the use of common Guedel and Berman oral airways, he developed a novel concept to address the age-old issues associated with dealing with “difficult airways”. This includes the need to do away with the continued requirement for manual and bi-manual lower jaw-thrusting by the practitioner in order to maintain an open airway. LJT Oral Airways are the new solution that overcomes all of the shortcomings of current common oral airways on the market.

  • Jaw-thrust opens and maintains the oropharyngeal airway
  • Designed to control the tongue
  • Fixed positioning of device
  • Allows hands-free use
  • Dimensional standardization across sizing

Our line of LJT Oral Airways provide:

 

  • Superior Patient Care
  • Reduced Procedural Complications
  • Reduced Operational Costs

Why the Jaw Thrust?

The biggest impediment, after placement of an oral airway, is the relaxation of the soft tissue structures in the hypopharynx. These structures are inclined to collapse, thus obstructing airflow, while occurring from both front-to-back and side-to-side, thus greatly decreasing (or closing) the oropharyngeal airway opening.

 

In relation, literally every patient before and after anesthesia, CPR, or sedation, is provided with a manual jaw-thrust as they wake up to prevent the tongue and soft tissue structures from falling back and obstructing the airway. Furthermore, almost every patient intubated is provided with an airway to prevent biting of the soft endotracheal tube and the tongue. Both of these procedures involve protracting the lower jaw by pulling it forward relative to the upper jaw to open the airway.

 

Since current airways don’t sufficiently address these known physiological issues – we designed an oropharyngeal airway that focuses on these drawbacks. Since mandibular advancement has been clinically proven to open and maintain the oropharynx airway, we designed a mechanical jaw thrust right into the airway. The result was our Lower Jaw-Thrusting (LJT) Oral Airways!

Issues with Current Oral Airways

After examination and on comparison, current Guedel and Berman airways are dimensionally very different in relation to the proportional measurements and it is easy to see that these inconsistencies do not correspond to any design and anatomical logic. Since these two devices were developed to open and maintain the oropharynx airway, shouldn’t they have the same dimensions? The answer is a resounding, “Yes”.

 

Further our studies showed that these common oral airways possess no proportional dimensional standards in relation to the length change in the bite block and the radius of the C curve. This impacts the radius of the back body portion and how it will control and impact the anatomical structures of the oropharynx, i.e., tongue, epiglottis, etc. These dimensional inconsistencies greatly impact how either airway design functions in relation to the anatomical requirements to keep an airway open.

 

It should also be noted that without the jaw-thrust design element and the ability to control the tongue, the relaxed jaw will allow for the relaxed tongue to fall back into the oropharynx because there is nothing to support it, resulting in an airway obstruction, causing complications for the anesthetist and the patient.

 

Comparison of using current Berman oral airway (left) versus our LJT oral airway and the alignment angle of the maxillary and mandibular teeth and jaw under anesthesia. Notice that the LJT airway protracts the lower mandibular jaw and pulls the tongue and genioglossus muscle forwards and prevents the tongue from moving back on the epiglottis and oropharynx, thus holding it away from the posterior pharyngeal wall.

LJT Oral Airway Advantages

LJT Oral Airways increase the oropharynx opening and control the tongue while adhering to standardization across all dimensional elements to bring increased functionality to airway management.