If the pocket mask ventilation is adequate, providers may postpone the introduction of an advanced airway. Health care providers will make a decision as to whether high blood pressure should be included during the ACLS examination.
The importance of securing the airway must be weighed against the need to minimize the interruption in perfusion that causes compressions to be stopped during airway placement. Basic airway equipment includes oropharyngeal airway (OPA) and nasopharyngeal airway (NPA).
The main difference between an OPA and a NPA is that an OPA is placed in the mouth while an NPA is inserted through the nose. Both airway devices terminate in the pharynx. The main advantage of an NPA over an OPA is that it can be used on either conscious or unconscious people because the device does not stimulate the gag reflex. Advanced airway equipment includes laryngeal mask airways, laryngeal tube, esophageal-tracheal tube, and endotracheal tube.
There are several styles of these supraglottic airways available. If it is within your scope of practice, you can use advanced airway equipment when appropriate and available.