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Nasopharyngeal Airways

skip@c-d-m.com trauma-list@trauma.org
Wed, 30 Apr 2003 09:34:00 -0600

I am teaching First Responders and a question has come up about the use of =
nasopharyngeal airways with maxillofacial trauma. The PHTLS textbook (5th =
Ed) is silent on the use of this device in the presence of facial injuries =
(ie if this is a relative contraindication), and a quick review of the =
literature on PubMed does not show any case reports or studies of glaring =
problems with NPA with respect to cranial penetration, etc.

Does anyone have any comments on the NPA in the situation of maxillofacial =
trauma with possible skull fracture (keeping in mind that First Responders =
will not have the ability to intubate)?


Skip Tinnell, RN MSPH