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nasopharyngeal airwayAbbreviation: NPA
A soft, flexible, uncuffed tube placed through the nasal passages so that the distal tip rests in the nasopharynx. It is used to maintain the free passage of air to and from the lungs in patients with facial trauma or lockjaw or in nearly comatose patients who are breathing spontaneously. Before the tube is inserted, the proper length is determined by comparing it to the distance from the tip of the patient's nose to the earlobe. The diameter should match that of the patient's pinkie. Nasopharyngeal airways are often used by respiratory therapists to reduce the trauma from repetitive nasotracheal suctioning. Synonym: nasal trumpetillustration;illustration
CAUTION!Bleeding from the nasopharynx may occur during emergency placement of this airway.
See also: airway