The two-leading oral (oropharyngeal) airways were introduced over 80 and 50 years ago respectively, 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 carry out the task to maintain the airway in unconscious / semiconscious patients.
The biggest impediment, after placement of an oral airway, is the relaxation of the soft tissue structures in the hypo-pharynx. These structures are inclined to collapse, thus obstructing airflow, while occurring from both front-to-back and side-to-side, thus greatly decreasing the size of the oral opening.
In relation, literally every patient before and after anesthesia, CPR, or sedation, is provided with a jaw-thrust as they wake up to prevent the tongue 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 asked ourselves, why not address these drawbacks and engineer and design a better airway?
After examination, the comparison of the 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.
Further our studies showed that in Guedel and Berman oral airways there are no proportional dimensional standards being employed to the length change in the bite block and the radius of the C curve. When no proportional standard is employed than this impacts the radius of the back body portion and how it will control and impact the anatomical structures of the oropharynx, i.e., epiglottis, root of the tongue, 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, the relaxed jaw will allow for the relaxed tongue to fall back into the oropharynx because there is nothing to support it, resulting in more than a 10% airway obstruction, causing complications for the anesthetist and the patient.
Read Why We Developed the LJT Oral Airway and Why its Superior to Anything on the Market.
We designed the LJT Oral Airways to adhere to standardization across all of these dimensional elements to bring uniformity and increased functionality for airway management.
The main advantages of our LJT Oral Airways are:
Jaw Thrusting Design: studies have proven that mandibular advancement increases the oropharynx opening under anesthesia but nobody incorporated that embodiment into an oral airway…until now. By pulling the jaw forwards, LJT airways can provide a 14% increase of the oropharyngeal area.
Hands Free Use: our LJT design provides a “fulcrum”, which “locks” the device into place, thus, freeing the hands of the practitioner so they can attend to other tasks.
Back Plate Extension: provides better control of the tongue from collapsing back into hypo-pharynx and from falling from side-to-side, thus, preventing from obstructing the airway further.
Obese Support: establishes an easy ventilation airway for overweight or obese patients. This patient population increases the difficulty of mask ventilation since they tend to have larger, thicker necks and tongues, along with more redundant soft tissue in the oropharyngeal area.
Bite Block Openings: wider opening through the bite portion and to newly designed side ports functions as an intubation guide to facilitate insertion of endoscopes, catheters and related medical instruments.
Greater Access: larger holes allow for more air circulation on both sides of the airway, and at the same time allows suction from one side to the other for any secretions and regurgitations.
Ventral Hump: projection that depresses the root of the tongue prevents the tongue from moving back on the epiglottis and oropharynx, thus holding it away from the posterior pharyngeal wall.