• To assist in maintaining an airway with an adjunct when an OPA cannot be used.
  • Significant nasal or mid-facial trauma.
  • Epistaxis
Patient Factors & Considerations
  • 3rd trimester pregnancy.
  • Patients prone to epistaxis.
  • Never force an NPA if resistance is felt.
  • Use with caution in suspected skeletal fractures, e.g. base of skull fractures.
  • Insertion may cause mild bleeding.
  • All relevant infection control methods and personal protective equipment to be utilised.
  • Prepare equipment required:
    • NPA
    • Lubricant
    • Oxygen

  • Select the correct size sealed NPA by measuring from the corner of the nose to the end of the earlobe[1].
  • Apply lubricant to the bevel end of the NPA.
  • Place patient’s head in a neutral position.
  • Ensure airway is clear, suction if necessary.
  • Select the nostril with the widest opening (usually the right).
  • Ensure that bevelled opening is facing toward the septum[2].
  • With a slight twisting action slowly advance the bevelled end until the flange rests on the patient’s nostril following the natural curvature of the nasal passage[3].
  1. NPA1

  3. NPA2

  5. NPA3
  • Assess efficacy of inserted NPA by observing chest rise and fall.
  • If the patient shows signs of rejection remove the airway as it may be stimulating the posterior nasopharynx.
Additional Information
Additional information

  • Nasopharyngeal Airway. (2014). Expert in My Pocket. http://expertinmypocket.com.au/nasopharyngeal-airway/ 

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