UNCONTROLLED WHEN PRINTED
Indications
  • Essntial techniques to open and maintain a patent airway in patients without reflexes.
  • The lateral position is a form of essential airway management in the unconscious patient who is breathing adequately.
Contraindications
Contraindications
Patient Factors & Considerations
  • Leave dentures in place if well-fitting but if loose and likely to become an airway threat, then gently remove (keep safe and accounted for).
  • Double airway manoeuvre (jaw thrust / open mouth without head tilt) should be utilised in suspected spinal injury.
Procedure
  • Position the patient with appropriate padding in place as follows:
Infant Head and neck in neutral position with padding under shoulders.
Child Head and neck in neutral position with padding under shoulders.
Adult Head and neck in neutral position with padding under head.
Obese Increase the head elevation to align the airway passages.

Cross-finger technique

  • Ensure gloves are worn when performing this procedure
  • Place thumb on the patient's lower teeth and index finger on the upper teeth
  • Gently open the mouth by pushing teeth apart[1].

Double-airway manoeuvre

In suspected spinal injury (if the patient has sustained head, neck, or spine trauma), open the airway using the double-airway manoeuvre

  • Jaw Thrust: Ensuring the neck remains in an anatomically neutral position, place manual pressure at the angle of the mandible (jaw) and lift the jaw anteriorly. This will lift the tongue and minimise obstruction to the airway[2].
  • Open Mouth: Utilise both thumb tips to push the chin forwards to open the mouth and visualise the oropharynx[3].

Triple-airway manoeuvre

  • Head Tilt: Use both hands on side of head to tilt head backwards.
  • Jaw Thrust: Place manual pressure at the angle of the mandible (jaw); lift the jaw anteriorly. This will lift the tongue and minimise obstruction to the airway.
  • Open Mouth: Utilise both thumb tips to push the chin forwards to open the mouth and visualise the oropharynx[4].
  1. Cross-finger technique: Basic Airway - Cross Finger
  2. Jaw thrust: Basic Airway - Jaw Thrust
  3. Double-airway manoeuvre:Double-airway manouevre
  4. Triple-airway manoeuvre: Basic Airway - Triple Airway
Success
Success
Discontinue
Discontinue
Additional Information

References
  • Triple Airway Manoeuvre. (2014). Expert in My Pocket. http://expertinmypocket.com.au/triple-airway-manoeuvre/ 

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Responsible Manager
Head of Clinical Services

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