NuMask IntraOral Mask and Oropharyngeal Airway


I picked up a couple samples of the NuMask Inc., IntraOral Mask (IOM) and Oral Airway (OPA). While I’ve not had the opportunity to actually use the IOM, it seems to be a pretty neat idea.
Whereas a conventional ventilation mask fits over the mouth and nose, the NuMask IOM goes inside the front of the mouth, between the lips/cheeks and the teeth/gums. The IOM is enhanced by an oral airway which fits against it, in a fitted recess, providing positive engagement between the devices.

During mask ventilation with a conventional mask, ala the Bag-Valve-Mask, pressure against the face is required to keep it in place and ensure positive ventilation. This can be problematic (to say the least) in cases of facial injury where putting pressure against the face can make things worse.
While the trained provider is likely to counter the situation by intubating, that may be outside the skill level of initial responders. As the NuMask IOM removes the need to exert pressure against the face, it may be a viable option for First Responders, and Basic level providers (who in some area’s still cannot intubate), for providing positive air pressure ventilation for maxillofacial trauma patients prior to intubation/arrival of a provider capable.
The NuMask may also have additional benefits, making the provider’s life easier at least: Bagging, while regularly taught as a two person skill, is a single-provider task in the real world, and the ease and security of the IOM’s placement may make that task somewhat less awkward. NuMask also produces a soft head-wrap type device to hold the IOM in place properly, without requiring hands on.
Traditional masks also have some difficulties in getting a proper fit over facial hair and other facial irregularities, which wouldn’t be a problem for the IOM.
NuMask also advertises, and I would suspect rightly so, that the IOM is much easier to use in a variety of positions than a traditional mask, which can be difficult to properly hold in cramped or awkward quarters. For the extreme environment, the IOM may offer a lot over more conventional set-ups.

NuMask is currently giving out samples of the IOM and OPA set at www.numask.com – Stop by and grab one, and take a look at their other offerings.
I’m thinking their Intra-Oral Mask Bag Valve resucitator kit would make a nice, lightweight and compact, option for mine exploration/caving medicine.



2 responses to “NuMask IntraOral Mask and Oropharyngeal Airway”

  1. Ian McDevitt says:

    What’s up Morgan ? How goes it ? a few points about managing an airway in an adult unresponsive patient, if possible ie: no C-spine trauma is suspected, LIFT THE FACE UP INTO THE MASK, DON’T PUSH DOWN WITH A BVM……you will anatomically occlude the airway by negating your head-tilt chin lift. Also, if the patient is already intubated, pushing DOWN with the mask section of the BVM may cause the tube to move out of position into the R main stem. If C-spine trauma is suspected, just use your modified jaw thrust to lift the jaw into the mask…………it’s easier to demonstrate in person. If I end up teaching any classes this winter out your way, feel free to come and shoot the shit…….Ian McDevitt, EMT-P, Tactical Paramedic, FARMEDIC, CCEMT-P.

  2. BFE Labs says:

    Ian, awesome to hear from you! Even if you’re just passing through this part of the world, drop me a line, it’d be great to grab a burger and shoot the shit.

    You are, of course, spot on about properly opening the airway, and keeping the BVM on the face (or on the lumen)… Down pressure is not the thing. I’ve been taught this as the “EC” technique, with the thumb and forefinger forming a C-shape around the actual mask, with the middle ring and little fingers beneath the patients chin to provide lift into the mask.

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