Resources for Biomedical Engineering Device Design
F20 Project: ClearWay
Non-invasive Device to Maintain Airway During Monitored Anesthesia Care Using Jaw Thrust
The JawClaw is a headband based device which moves the jaw forward to alleviate airway obstruction.
Monitored Anesthesia Care is a form of conscious sedation where the patient is awake but groggy. It allows for faster patient recovery time and procedures do not require intubation since the patient can still breathe on their own. However, since the airway is unsecured, obstruction is common. Obstruction can lead to oxygen desaturation, patient movement, and hypercarbia. Current solutions to airway obstruction are either invasive and can lead to complications or are non-invasive but require the anesthesiologist to dedicate valuable time and attention. The most common non-invasive solutions include the jaw thrust maneuver. The jaw thrust maneuver is performed by placing the placing the fingers under the back of the mandible. The mandible is displaced forward, lifting the tongue off the throat to eliminate upper airway obstruction. The jaw thrust is physically taxing to the anesthesia provider and prevents them from performing other required duties, such as charting vitals and maintaining appropriate depth of anesthesia; therefore, it cannot be performed for long periods of time. In order to come up with a non-invasive device to alleviate airway obstruction, our team produced a prototype of an external device that performs the jaw thrust on the patient. It is secured to the patient’s head via an adjustable headband and has arms which adjust in 3 dimensions to fit the mandibles of multiple patient anthropometrics. A ratchet mechanism locks the arms in place once they have performed the jaw thrust and can hold well above the necessary weight to maintain the thrust. The ratchet works in both directions, a simple switch will release the patient from the jaw thrust.