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May 20, 1961

Cinefluorographic Study of Hyperextension of the Neck and Upper Airway Patency

Author Affiliations

Buffalo; Syracuse; Buffalo, N.Y.

From the departments of medicine and physiology, University of Buffalo School of Medicine and Buffalo General Hospital; Department of Anesthesiology, State University of New York Upstate Medical Center, Syracuse, and Department of Anesthesiology, Roswell Park Memorial Institute, Buffalo.

JAMA. 1961;176(7):570-573. doi:10.1001/jama.1961.03040200006002

Cinefluorographic techniques were used in order to locate the sites of obstruction in the upper airways when artificial respiration was given by mouth-to-mouth and mouth-to-nose methods. In 15 adult volunteer subjects anesthetized to apnea 3 sites of obstruction were observed with the subject's head in the neutral position. Two were areas of contact of the pharyngeal wall with (1) the soft palate and (2) the base of the tongue; the third was at the lips. Obstruction at (1) and (2) was relieved when the head was moved back into the extended position by the two-handed hyperextension maneuver. This head-tilt maneuver is a reliable, simple, versatile method of clearing the upper airways for mouth-to-mouth and mouth-to-nose artificial respiration.