US 3576187 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent Giovanna Oddera 214 Ballantine Parkway, Newark, NJ. 07104 Oct. 30, 1968 Apr. 27, 1971 Continuation of application Ser. No. 530,237, Feb. 25, 1966, now abandoned.
Inventor Appl. No. Filed Patented AIRWAY WITH RESILIENT BITING AREA 5 Claims, 9 Drawing Figs.
U.S. C1 128/351, 128/208 Int. Cl ..A61m 25/00  Field of Search 128/351, 240, 208, 206
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,306,298 2/1967 Raimo 128/351 3,398,747 8/1968 Raimo.... 128/351 Primary Examiner Richard A. Gaudet Assistant ExaminerJ. Yasko Attorney-Cifelli, Behr & Rhodes ABSTRACT: An improved oral-pharyngeal anesthesis airway has a resilient portion in the area normally contacted in use by the patients teeth which is yieldable to biting pressure to provide a tooth-cushioning effect, and means for preventing complete closure of the air passage through the resilient portion under biting pressure.
AIRWAY WITH RESILIENT BITING AREA This application is a continuation of my copending US. application, Ser. No. 530,237, filed Feb. 25, 1966, now abandoned.
This invention relates to an improved oral-pharyngeal airway device for introduction through the mouth into the trachea area of the throat of a surgical or other patient, especially when the latter is anesthetized, whereby to prevent suffocation of the patient.
Airway devices adapted to provide air passage through the patients mouth to the trachea area of the patients throat are known to the prior art, but faults have been noted with respect thereto. One such fault is that the outer end portion of the airway which, in use, is located within the patients mouth, subject to biting action by the patients teeth, has been so rigid or unyielding to biting action as to risk breakage or other injury to dental caps with which the patients teeth may be provided. Such rigidity or resistance to biting action of that portion of the airway adapted to be engaged by the patients teeth has been deemed necessary to avoid total collapse and consequent closing of the entrance to the air passages which extend through the airway device.
It is an object of this invention to provide an airway device having an outer end portion, adapted to be located within the patients mouth subject to biting action of the patients teeth, which is sufficiently yieldable to biting pressure as to cushion the biting action so as to avoid dental cap or other tooth injury, while at the same time providing means to prevent total collapse and closing of the air entrance opening leading to the air passage or passages of the airway device.
It is a further object of this invention to provide an airway device, having the improved resilient outer end portion above referred to, which can be produced in one piece as an integral structure from a suitable plastic material such, e.g., as polyethelene, and which is so shaped that, when in place under use conditions, it is adapted to lift the epiglottis and straighten the tracheal curve, whereby to avoid reduction and partial obstruction of the tracheal passage.
The above and other objects of this invention will be apparent from a reading of the following description of illustrative embodiments thereof as shown in the accompanying drawings, in which:
FIG. 1 is a side elevational view of a preferred form of airway device, including the outer resilient end portion according to this invention; FIG. 2 is an external end view of the outer end portion of said device, showing one arrangement of means for preventing total closure of the air passage entrance thereof under biting action of a patient served thereby; and FIG. 3 is also an external end view, showing a further modified arrangement for preventing total closure of the air passage entrance of the device.
FIG. 4 is a side elevational view of an airway device, shown in part by broken lines, having at least one air passage of any desired construction, the outer end portion of which provides the resilient biting area according to this invention; and
FIG. 5 is an external end view of the same.
FIG. 6 is an external end view of another modified arrangement of means to prevent total collapse and closure of the airway passage entrance under biting pressure exercised by the patient upon the resilient biting area of the device.
FIG. 7 is a fragmentary side elevational view of an airway device having a resilient biting area equipped with another form of means to prevent closure of the airway passage or passages thereof under biting pressure; and FIG. 8 is an external end view of the same in initial open condition; and FIG. 9 is a similar view in limited closed condition under biting pressure.
Like characters of reference are applied in the several FIGS. of the above-described views, to indicate corresponding parts.
In FIG. 1 of the drawings is shown a preferred construction of an airway device which comprises a body 10 having an outer straight portion 10' to be located within the patients mouth, and an upwardly bowed portion 10" terminating in a downwardly directed curved inner end portion 10", that is adapted to extend therefrom into the trachea area of the patient's throat; said outer straight portion 10' embodying the resilient area which is subject to biting action of the patients teeth, and which provides an airway passage entrance opening having means to prevent total closure thereof under biting pressure, according to the principles ofthis invention.
The aforesaid preferred form and construction of airway device comprises a top wall 11 and a bottom wall 12 of suitable widths. Said top and bottom walls are spaced apart by intervening strut elements 13 which are disposed to extend, in longitudinally spaced apart relation, along the length of the body 10 and centrally intermediate the side margins of the top and bottom walls 11-12 The airway body 10 thus includes end-to-end open air passage channels, respectively opening laterally outward along opposite sides of said body. The strut elements 13 permit relative yielding of the top and bottom walls 11-12 under uneven, biting pressure, whereby contraction of one air passage channel effects expansion of the opposite air passage channel, thus assuring at least one unrestricted air passage channel at all times. Owing to the longitudinally spaced apart relation of the strut elements 13, openings or ports 14 are provided, which afford communication between the side air passage channels, thus easily permitting flow of fluids through the airway device with less tendency of clogging said air passage channels. The abovedescribed form of this preferred airway device is already known to the art.
The outer extremities of the top and bottom walls 11-12 are normally spaced apart, thus providing an intervening open space therebetween which provides an entrance opening 15 leading into the air passage channels. of the airway device. Since the material from which the airway device is formed possesses some resilient flexibility, the outer end portions of said top and bottom walls 11-12 are free to move one toward the other under biting pressure exercised by the patients teeth, when the airway device is is use. By reason of this, permissible yielding of the outer end portions of the top and bottom walls 1l12, under biting pressure, affords a cushioning effect, with respect to such biting pressure, results, thus avoiding such rigidity of the device in the biting area which, if not prevented, might involve injury to the patients teeth or to dental caps with which the same may be provided.
Extending angularly outward from the respective extremities of the top and bottom walls 11l2 are respective stop flanges 16, which, when the airway device is in use, are adapted to externally abut the lips of the patient, thereby holding the device against inward displacement from its applied operative relation to the patients mouth and throat.
Owing to the constriction of the air entrance opening 15 of the device, under biting pressure, means is desirably provided to prevent total closing of such entrance opening, and consequent possible obstruction to free flow of air to and through the air passage channels of the device in use. The means to serve this purpose is subject to variation in form and arrangement, as will be hereinafter indicated.
As shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, one means to limit total closing of the air entrance opening 15 comprises opposed stop lungs 17 and I7 respectively projecting angularly inward from the respective end portions of the opposed top and bottom walls 11-12 at opposite ends of the entrance opening 15. These opposed stop lugs 17-17 are initially spaced apart, but, under biting pressure, will approach each other, and when meeting will engage to limit the relative movements of the end portions of the top and bottom walls Ill-l2, one toward the other, thereby preventing total closure of said air entrance opening 15. An alternate arrangement of opposed stop lugs is shown in FIG. 3, wherein a single pair thereof 1848' is positioned intermediate the ends of the entrance opening 15, the meeting of which, under biting pressure, will also prevent total closure of the air entrance opening 15.
It will be understood that the resilient cushioning structure of the airway device, which is adapted to be engaged by the patients teeth in use, can be applied to other forms of the device which comprise one or more air passage channels extending therethrough, so long as top and bottom walls thereof at the mouth end are yieldable one toward the other. This is indicated in FIG. 4, wherein at least one air passage channel 19 is bounded by yieldable top and bottom walls 11-12. In this case, the limiting stop lugs 17-17, as shown in FIG. 5, or any other equivalent limiting means, such as already or hereinafter described, may be employed.
To further indicate possible variations of means for providing total closure of the air entrance opening of an airway device under biting pressure according to this invention, note the following. Instead of a pair or pairs of opposed stop lugs as above described, a single stop lug can be provided to angularly project from the end of one wall, e.g., the bottom wall 12, subject to engagement with the end of the opposed wall, e.g., the top wall 11. As illustratively shown in FIG. 6, a single stop lug 20 is so provided.
Referring to FIGS. 7 to 9 inclusive, still another arrangement of means for preventing total closure of the entrance opening 15 of the airway device is shown, the same comprising a flexible leaf or lug 21, which is disposed to extend obliquely from one wall, e.g., the top wall 11, within and adjacent to the entrance opening 15, so that its free end will bear against and engage the opposite wall, e.g., the bottom wall 12. When biting pressure is applied to said walls, with tendency to move one toward the other, this leaf or lug 21 will yield to such movement, but will interpose its body between said walls, whereby to prevent the same from closing together sufficiently to shut off airflow therebetween (see FIG. 9).
Other means for preventing total closing of the air entrance opening of the airway device may be provided within the scope of the following claims.
1. In an airway comprising a body molded in one piece from a stiff resilient plastic material and having an inner curved portion adapted to extend into the trachea area of a patients throat and an outer straight portion adapted to extend through the patients mouth, and wherein the body comprises generally planar top and bottom walls spaced apart by at least one intervening strut element disposed intermediate the side margins of said top and bottom walls extending longitudinally of said body and being molded integrally therewith, said airway including air passage channels opening laterally along opposite sides and at the inner end of said body and having a common opening at the outer end of said body, and a pair of flanges adjacent said common opening and projecting outwardly from the top and bottom walls, of said body so as to overlie the patients lips, and including a tooth-engaging area spaced from said flanges a distance substantially greater than the thickness of said flanges and approximately equal to the thickness of a patients lips, the improvement which comprises: the outer end of said strut element being substantially spaced from the flanges and terminating short of said toothengaging area of the body whereby said top and bottom walls of said body are free to flex inwardly forward of the outer end of said strut element under biting pressure applied by the patients teeth on the tooth-engaging area of said body, the inner lateral edges of said flanges being spaced apart sufficiently to permit substantial inward flexing of said top and bottom walls adjacent said tooth-engaging area.
2. An airway according to claim 1, including means for preventing complete closure of said common opening and said air passages through said resilient tooth-engaging portion.
3. An airway according to claim 1, wherein the means for preventing complete closure of said common opening comprises stop means interposed between the inner edges of said flanges.
4. An airway according to claim 3, wherein the means for preventing complete closure of said common opening comprises normally separated opposed stop lugs projecting from the inner lateral edges of said flanges. I
An airway according to claim 2, wherein the means for preventing complete closure of said common opening comprises stop lug means projecting angularly inward from the inner edge of at least one of said flanges to contact the inner edge of the other flange under biting pressure.