SMTL Medical Disposable Datacard

Guedel Airway

All Wales Contract: Anaesthetic and Endotracheal
Sterility Status: Sterile
Usage Status: Single use


Guedel airway (also known as oropharyngeal airway, oral airway or OPA) consists of a short curved transparent airway tube with a colour coded bite block at one end. The colour codes correspond to airway tubes with different internal diameters. Some Trusts may have a preference for 'over-moulded' bite blocks (strengthened plastic, moulded from the same piece as the airway) due to concerns of 'insert' bite blocks coming loose.

Please note : Airways of the same 'size' and colour code can vary considerably in length and curvature between manufacturers. Examination of different models is advisable in order to purchase an airway of the desired shape. SMTL recently conducted a series of measurement tests on a range of models and found that of those tested, the only ones that were currently compliant with relevant standards were manufactured by Intersurgical. 

Berman airways are a very similar shape to Guedel airways and are usually made of a single piece of plastic but possess 2 lateral channels rather than one closed tube. They do not possess a colour coded bite block, although the entire device may be one colour (corresponding to a colour code) in some cases.


Key areas where used

Method of use

Allows ventilation and maintains patient airway. It prevents the tongue from blocking the airway. It is used when intubation is not available or advisable. The airway tube is inserted so that the bite block rests in the patient's mouth.

The 2 lateral channels of the Berman airway are used to guide a suction catheter into the laryngopharynx whilst continuing to maintain the airway


Individually packaged in a peel pouch

Sizes Required

Relevant Standards

The following standards are relevant to this product;

Organisation Standard No. Title
BSI BS EN 12181 :1998 Oropharyngeal airways

Example products

The following table lists examples of products known to be acceptable for this product description.

Brand Name Product Code Manufacturer
Guedel airway - 5 1115120 Intersurgical
Guedel airway - 4 1114100 Intersurgical
Guedel airway - 3 1113090 Intersurgical
Guedel airway - 2 1112080 Intersurgical


P Phillips and J Ford

Please inform SMTL of any inaccuracies noted or changes required in this datacard.


This datacard has been prepared as an aid to contracting for purchasers in the NHS in Wales, and should not be used as a substitute for literature, instructions or training from the manufacturers of the devices.

Products mentioned in this datacard are for illustration purposes only and should not be seen as an endorsement of these products.