The Different Types of Medical Airway Equipment

The Different Types of Medical Airway Equipment
3 min read

As any first responder will tell you, when arriving on scene the first thing to do is ensure the patient’s airway is clear and they are breathing properly. Whether they are clearing secretions from their airway, assessing the cause of any type of respiratory distress, or managing complex aspiration cases, it is vital they have the proper equipment. Without the proper medical airway equipment, the patient can easily have increased difficulty breathing. This can lead to unconsciousness and even death.

What Are the Five Categories of Medical Airway Equipment?

While there are several sub-categories of equipment, the board groupings are listed below:

  • Facemask Ventilation Devices with Various Attachments
  • Supraglottic Airway Devices
  • Tracheal Intubation
  • Suction Machines to Clear Airways
  • Transtracheal Access

Facemask Ventilation

Whether a person is showing signs of hypoxic respiratory failure or in an altered state due to exertion or hypoxia, face mask ventilation is vital for all medical care providers. The patient needs to have their head, neck, and jaw all in their proper place in order to ensure effective oxygen delivery.

Supraglottic Airway Devices

According to various resources, supraglottic airway devices are able to provide life-saving rescue ventilation in over 90% of those cases where tracheal intubation and mask ventilation were not possible.

These devices are effective in opening the upper airway to provide unobstructed ventilation. Though quite effective, these devices can potentially damage the airway, as well as, increase the risk of pulmonary aspiration. This can be of particular concern in patients who are considered obese.

Tracheal Intubation

In the most general terms, tracheal intubation is the process of using a wide range of devices to insert a tube into the airway through the throat. It can provide important, life-saving ventilation. It can also be utilized to properly clear the airway or deliver medication. Proper technique needs to be used because when done incorrectly, it can increase the risk of aspiration.

Airway Clearance

There are a variety of suction devices which can be used to clear the airway properly. Some are handheld, while others are automated. Every emergency oxygen kit Canada has a handheld suction device with it.

Transtracheal Access

This type of equipment is used to access the trachea by a small incision in the neck. This can be used in patients who have obstructive pulmonary disease. This is oftentimes relied upon when conventional intubation fails. When traditional ventilation fails, transtracheal access can be the only way to provide a clear airway for a hypoxic patient.

Airway management is a vital function of every first responder. They need airway medical supplies in order to do their job effectively. We have been supplying first responders with high-quality equipment for over thirty years. Reach out today to get the best medical supplies in Canada.

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Sophia White 2
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