WLM ID: aiwe, aiwd, aiwc, aiwb, aiwa | Catalog Record
The Guedel Oral Airways are displayed in descending size from left to right. The muscles of the back of the mouth and throat that normally keep the air passage open can relax during anesthesia and block normal breathing. Oropharyngeal (oral) airways are inserted into the mouth and over the tongue to maintain the air passage. They are just one device used by anesthesiologists to maintain an unobstructed passage through which patients breathe during surgery.
Dr. Arthur E. Guedel (1883-1956) described his newly developed airway in 1933. Compared to oral airways made of metal, Guedel’s rubber airway posed less risk of injury to the patient’s mouth during insertion. The airway became so popular that even today oral airways of similar design are often referred to as ‘Guedel airways.’
Among his other significant accomplishments, Guedel is well known for having developed a guide to the stages and physical signs of ether anesthesia. His guide was relied upon by anesthesiologists around the world for half a century. He wrote a popular text on inhalation anesthesia and developed an early endotracheal tube with an inflatable rubber cuff.
Guedel’s character and career inspired a group of anesthesiologists to found the Arthur E. Guedel Memorial Anesthesia Center in 1963. The Center is housed within the Health Sciences Library at California Pacific Medical Center, in San Francisco.