Oro pharyngeal airway question

Specialties Emergency


1) When do you insert the oro pharyngeal airway? Do you insert it immediately after assessment or do you give a series of compressions and breaths first?

2) After insertion, do we continue the 30:2 (compression : breaths) pattern? Or, do we follow the advanced airway pattern and keep compression at 100/min and breaths at 8/min.


1,905 Posts

You want to place the OPA as soon as possible. In the ideal situation, it would be placed while you open the airway after establishing an unresponsive and apneic patient. In addition, placing a nasal airway in each nare in addition to an OPA may be more helpful in maintaining adequate mask ventilation. It is not often taught; however, a helpful technique to know.

Oral and nasal airways are considered adjuncts and not advanced airways like the ETT, LMA, and ETC. Therefore, 30:2 technique still applies until an advanced airway is placed and confirmed.

Specializes in ED, Flight.

Gila already said it all.

Just remember to have your suction handy, if available. If the patient still has a gag reflex, insertion of the OPA could bring up a mess.

Thank you very much GilaRN and medic09.

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