Intubation mouthguard

A specialized mouthguard for endotracheal tubes in patients with skin trauma such as burns

Medical & Biotechnology

ImageThe U.S. Army has developed a patent-pending intubation mouthguard that protects facial tissue compromised by burns or other injury. The Army device also provides improved protection of a patient’s teeth by shifting the load from vulnerable incisors to the more robust molars.

The standard of care for securing endotracheal tubes in burn patients has changed little in the last twenty years: A semi-rigid bite block is tied to the tube with cotton twills, which are then tied around the patient’s head to prevent accidental dislodgement. Despite the recent introduction of silicon gel sheets, the corners of the patient’s mouth can suffer significant trauma due to rubbing on the ties. The large IV volumes used in burn treatment causes tissue to swell and exacerbates the problem, which can lead to additional medical issues and scarring. Additionally, tooth loss often results from prolonged clamping of the patient’s jaws that causes incisors to erupt out of the jaw.

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