It is estimated that over 350 million oropharyngeal (oral) airways are used every year around the world, during anesthesia, on semi-conscious / 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.
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!
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.
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.