US 3306298 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
v. H. RAIMO Feb. 28; 1967 AIRWAY Filed March 31, 1964 Fig.5
INVENTOR. VICTOR HRAIMO ATTORMFHS' United States Patent Ofiice 3,306,298 Patented Feb. 28, 1967 3,306,298 AIRWAY Victor H. Raimo, 214 Ballentine Parkway, Newark, NJ. 07104 Filed Mar. 31, 1964, Ser. No. 356,260 1 Claim. (Cl. 128-351) This invention relates to an improved airway for preventing suffocation of surgical or other patients.
Although it has been common practice for many years to employ physical means to assure passage of air through the mouth of the trachea of anesthetized patients in order to prevent suffocation during and subsequent to surgery, and many devices for this purpose have been developed, none of those previously available has been entirely satisfactory. One of the most widely used devices of this type is a curved, solid plastic airway having flanges on one end to overlie externally the lips of the patient, and a body having a cross section similar to that of an I-beam. This airway has an open-sided channel at either side of the solid central rib to provide for passage of air through the mouth to the trachea of the patient. Airways of this type have a number of disadvantages. .In the first place, there is no provision for preventing accumulation in the patients trachea of fluids which may cause suffocation. Further, the open-sided channels may become clogged with fluids and may even be obstructed by the patients lips if the latter are large and fleshy, thus defeating the purpose of the device. Still further, the single central rib does not have sufficient structural strength to prevent some patients from crushing the device by biting down on it with their teeth.
Other previously available airways, which have been designed in an attempt to overcome the disadvantages mentioned above, have a longitudinally extending central channel open only at the upper and lower ends of the airway. Inasmuch as such a tubular structure is inherently more easily crushed than the solid rib of an airway having an I-beam type cross section, an annular metal band is provided in the air passage at the point where it is con tacted by the patients teeth. Such airways are advantageous in that the central channel permits insertion of a suction tube directly into the trachea for removal of accumulated fluids. These airways also have the advantage that the central channel is closed at the sides and therefore can not become clogged by fluids entering along the length of the airway as is the case with the open-sided channels of other devices. However, despite these advantages such airways are not entirely satisfactory, since it has been found that the annular metal band has a tendency to become dislodged from its intended location. As a consequence the dislodged metal band may be swallowed by the patient or may act as a partial or complete obstruction of the airway or the patients trachea. In any event, when the metal band is displaced within the central channel of the airway it no longer acts to prevent the patient from closing off the channel by biting pressure of his teeth.
It is an object of the present invention, therefore, to provide an airway adapted to ensure an unobstructed passageway for air through the mouth to the trachea of a human patient and which also makes possible insertion of a tube therethrough into the trachea for removal of accumulated fluids by suction.
It is another object of the invention to provide an airway having suflicient structural strength to withstand any biting pressure exerted by a patient without breakage of the airway, or occlusion of the air passage or a suction tube therein.
It is another object of the present invention to provide an airway having both closed-sided and open sided channels, the former permitting insertion of a suction tube therethrough into the trachea, and the latter facilitating insertion of a suction tube into the oro-pharyngeal cavity.
It is still another object of the invention to provide an airway having a structure adapted to lift the epiglottis and to lift and straighten the tracheal curve of a patient to prevent partial obstruction of the tracheal passage thereby.
The above and other objects of the present invention, which will be apparent from the following detailed description, are achieved by providing an airway having in combination, at least one open-sided channel and at least one closed-sided channel open at the ends only, the latter being defined and closed at the sides by a pair of ribs extending longitudinally of the airway to serve the additional function of providing sufficient structural strength to prevent breakage of the airway or occlusion of the closed-sided channel by any biting pressure exerted by a patient. The new airways are also provided with an enlarged portion at the lower or inner end thereof for lifting the epiglottis and lifting and straightening the tracheal curve of a patient.
The invention will now be described in greater detail in conjunction with the accompanying drawings in which like reference numerals designate like parts and wherein:
FIG. 1 is a plan view of the outer end of'an airway of the invention;
FIG. 2 is a longitudinal, cross sectional view taken along the center line of the airway;
FIG. 3 is a bottom plan view of the airway showing the inner end thereof; and
FIG. 4 is a perspective view of the airway.
Referring now to the drawings in greater detail, an airway 10 of the present invention includes a body having a top surface 12 and a bottom surface 14 joined by a pair of longitudinal ribs 16 extending the entire length of the airway and defining a central closed-sided channel 18 and a pair of open-sided channels 20. The central channel 18 terminates at the outer end of the airway in an orifice 22 and at the inner end in a somewhat larger orifice 24. The enlargement of the inner orifice 24 is achieved by increasing the width of the longitudinal ribs 16 in the area adjacent the inner orifice so that the inner ends 28 of the ribs .16 are wider than the outer ends 26 of these ribs. The airway is also preferably provided with one or more lateral flanges 30 adjacent the outer orifice 22 which are adapted to overlie externally the lips of the patient.
The central channel 18 provides an unobstructed pas sageway for air through the patients mouth to the trachea since it is closed at the sides by the ribs 16 and thus can not be obstructed by fluids entering along the length of the airway. The double ribs 16 also prevent occlusion of the central channel 18 by any biting pressure a patient could exert due to the increased structural strength they provide which is twice that provided by the single central ri-b of certain airways of the prior art. The central channel 18 also serves as a conduit for the insertion of a suction t-ube directly into the trachea for the removal of tracheal secretions and thus permits this operation to be conducted blind, i.e. without the necessity of visually positioning the suction tube in the trachea, thus obviating a difficult procedure.
The increased width of the ribs 16 at the inner end of the airway provides a number of important advantages of the present airway over those previously available. Among these are the enlargement of the inner orifice 24 which ensures greater reliability in achieving an unobstructed air passage between the inner end of the airway and the trachea since it reduces the possibility of partial or complete obstruction of the orifice and also permits less critical positioning of the airway in the pharynx. Another very important advantage flowing from the widening of the ribs 16 at the inner end of the airway is the resulting increase in the external dimensions of that portion of the airway which ensures maximum air passage by lifting the epiglottis and by preventing tracheal obstruction by lifting and straightening the tracheal curve.
The open-sided channels 20 are provided not only as gas passages but to permit the insertion therein of a tube to remove by suction secretions and vomit accumulated in the mouth which may tend to suffocate the patient.
The curved configuration and the size of the airway is, of course, determined by the geometry of the oro-pharyngeal cavity; airways of varying size being required by adults and young children or infants, as is well known.
The airways of the present invention may be composed of any suitable material known to the art, the preferred materials being polyolefin plastics such as polyethylene and polypropylene. The airway is preferably molded in one piece since this precludes the possibility of small portions thereof, such as the annular steel inserts of previously available airways, from separating from the airway to act as possible obstructions.
Although it is highly preferable to provide the enlargement of the inner end of the airway shown in the drawings and described above from which many of the advantages of the present invention flow, it will be obvious to those skilled in the art that an airway superior to those previously available will still be provided by a structure similar to the preferred structure but omitting the enlargement. Further, other airways embodying the present invention may have more or fewer channels than the illustrated embodiment as long as they have at least one opensided channel and at least one closed-sided channel open at each end. Other modifications within the scope of the invention will also occur to those skilled in the art and, therefore, it must be rem-bered that the specific embodiment of the present invention described above is given by way of illustration only and is not to be construed as limiting the scope of the invention which is defined by the appended claim.
An airway for preventing suffocation of a surgical or other patient, comprising an elongated body having a straight portion at the outer end thereof which is adapted to extend through the lips and mouth, and a curved portion at the inner end thereof which is adapted to be positioned adjacent the trachea, said body having an upper surface and a lower surface joined by a pair of spaced apart longitudinal ribs defining at least one closed-sided channel extending throughout the length of said body and having an orifice at each of said outer and inner ends thereof, the width of said ribs between said upper and lower surfaces being greater at the inner end than at the outer end thus making the orifice at the inner end larger than the orifice at said outer end, said body being further provided with at least one open-sided channel, said ribs having sufficient structural strength to prevent occlusion of said closed-sided channel by biting pressure exerted thereon under use conditions, said curved portion at the inner end of said body having a larger cross section than the straight portion at the outer end of said body and being adapted thereby to lift the epiglottis and to lift and straighten the tracheal curve of a patient.
References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,498,810 6/1924 Poe 128208 2,599,521 6/1952 Berman 128-208 2,995,131 8/1961 Elam et a1. l28351 X FOREIGN PATENTS 1,176,924 12/1958 France. 1,348,518 12/1963 France.
105,038 3/1917 Great Britain.
RICHARD A. GAUDET, Primary Examiner.
DALTON L. TRULUCK, Examiner.