What is a Nasopharyngeal Airway?
A nasopharyngeal airway (also known as an NP Airway or NPA) is a flexible rubber tube which goes through the nose and ends at base of tongue and used to maintain an open airway in an unconscious patient.
When do I use a Nasopharyngeal Airway?
Nasopharyngeal airways are indicated for unconscious patients because it prevents the tongue from slipping back and either partially or completely obstructing the airway. Nasopharyngeal airways come in a variety of sizes.
How do I find the correct size Nasopharyngeal Airway?
The correct size nasppharyngeal airway is chosen by measuring against the patient, the flange (flared top of the airway) is aligned with the tip of their nose and is held against their jaw and the correct size should reach the angle of the jaw, just below the earlobe. Only suitably trained people should administer a nasopharyngeal airway and a suitable lubricant should be used. Nasopharangeal airways are described by their internal diameter in mm, commonly size 6–7 mm in an adult female and 7–8 mm for an adult male.
Size 4 – Dark Green – 4mm
Size 5 – Black – 5mm
Size 6 – Green – 6mm (Small Female Adults)
Size 7 – Orange – 7mm (Adults)
Size 8 – Dark Red – 8mm (Male Adults)
Size 9 – Purple – 9mm