Chin lift and jaw thrust

The genioglossus muscle attaches the tongue to the mandible. Therefore maneuvers which displace the mandible anteriorly will also pull the tongue off the posterior pharyngeal wall. Upper airway patency can be improved further by lifting the chin forward using a finger and thumb. An alternative is to thrust the jaw forwards with a finger placed on either side just proximal to the angle of the mandible ( Fig 1).

Fig. 1 Jaw thrust to open the airway.

It should be noted that many patients may have coincidental or associated nasal airway obstruction. Opening the mouth at the same time as applying the above techniques may further improve upper airway patency.

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