An artificial airway device to facilitate a patient's lung ventilation comprises an airway tube and a laryngeal mask at one end of the tube. The mask is of generally elliptical configuration, with an inflatable peripheral cuff of flexible material around the edges of the mask, for sealed support of the mask around the inlet to the patient's larynx. The mask has an aperture through which the airway tube opens into the interior of the mask. The mask also comprises a longitudinally directed bar, extending across the mask aperture, from the central upper edge or rim of the mask aperture, to which it has effectively a hinged attachment, to the posterior rim of the mask aperture, at which the bar is free. The hinged mounting of this bar is so positioned at longitudinal offset from the distal end of the mask (which locates in the upper sphincter or oesophageal inlet) that the introduction of an inserted endotracheal tube will automatically engage and swing the bar backward into camming engagement with the epiglottis, thus easily folding the epiglottis backward against the wall of the laryngeal inlet and permitting undeflected insertional passage of the endotracheal tube to and through the laryngeal inlet, and permitting undeflected insertional passage of the endotracheal tube to and through the laryngeal inlet.
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