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How to size and insert an OP airway adjunct (insertion only)

This video demonstrates how to insert an OP airway adjunct to an adult patient. A full video, showing how to size & insert the adjunct, along with information about relevant anatomy, is available on our YouTube channel. For more videos like this, stay tuned to as well as the YouTube, Facebook and Twitter pages.

This is the shorter version of the OPA video. For the long version, featuring the when, where and how of OP airway adjuncts, please click here.


0:08 disclaimer

0:25 Seen this video before? Skip to the main content

0:33 Sizing the OPA

0:38 Inserting the OPA

1:01 References



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Remember hand hygiene, bare below the elbows, and gloves in real life! (AACE, 2016)

Having opened the airway using manual airway manouvres and checking it is clear of obstruction, and having already selected the appropriate airway adjunct and size, now insert the adjunct back to front (Pilbery & Lethbridge, 2016) with the bendy part, named ‘the body’ (Beattie, 2005), curved towards the patient’s upper lip and nose. Once the adjunct has reached the soft palate, rotate it 180 degrees and advance it (Pilbery & Lethbridge, 2016). It should now rest in the pharynx (Pilbery & Lethbridge, 2016).

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Beattie, S. 2005. Placing an oropharnygeal airway, Available Online:… (Accessed 18/05/17)

Pilbery, R. and Lethbridge, K. 2016. Ambulance Care Practice, Bridgwater: Class Professional Publishing



Dobroide, 2010. 20091229.ambulance.siren.wav. Available Online:… (Accessed 21/08/17)



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Final note.

Why is it so important to size the adjunct? Because ‘If the airway [device] is too long it may occlude the airway by […] displacing the epiglottis; if too short it will not separate the soft palate or tongue from the posterior wall of the pharnyx’

Gregory, P. & Mursell, I. 2010. ‘Airway management’ in Manual of Clinical Paramedic Procedures, Sussex: Blackwell Publishing, pp. 2-34

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