Ovassapian Intubating Airway
WLM ID: alte | Catalog Record
‘Oral’ airways are inserted into the mouth and upper throat. Most of the time, they are used to prevent a patient’s breathing from becoming obstructed. Intubating airways also protect and provide space for a fiberoptic endoscope and endotracheal (breathing) tube while they are carefully inserted through the patient’s mouth and throat and into the trachea (windpipe).
Fiberoptic endoscopes contain thin and flexible light transmitting fibers. They allow physicians to see into parts of the body, such as the colon or bronchi, and perform procedures in a less invasive manner. Although endoscopy was originally designed for other purposes, anesthesiologists, such as Andranik Ovassapian, M.D. (1936-2010), have played a large role in its development for airway management.
In the 1970s, Dr. Ovassapian began using an endoscope to insert endotracheal tubes in patients where conventional techniques were difficult. By the early 1980s, he and his colleagues had established the first formal fiberoptic airway management teaching program for residents. In 1984, they also developed a workshop for practicing anesthesiologists. Dr. Ovassapian filed to patent the design for his intubating airway (pictured here) in 1988. In 1995, he founded the Society for Airway Management. Airway management refers to a broad number of techniques aimed at keeping an open pathway for air to move in and out of a patient's lungs.