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oropharyngeal airway

oro·pha·ryn·geal air·way

/ˌȯr ə ˌfa rən ˈjē əl, fə ˈrin-j(ē-)əl ˈeərˌwā/

Noun

A device used to maintain the airway of an unconscious patient who does not have a gag reflex and is unable to maintain their own airway. Generally made of plastic, OPAs come in a variety of sizes, designed to fit a variety of patients from pediatric to adult. Once inserted, the OPA will depress the tongue to the floor of the mouth, thereby keeping a passage open. However, the OPA does not reach all of the way to the posterior tongue. A manual airway maneuver will still be required to fully maintain airway patency.