Bite Block Advantages
By Anesthesia, For Anesthesia.
The Complete Bite Block is made in a clean environment and designed for single use. The current bite block is crudely constructed out of gauze and tape. Those materials are multi-use and could have been used with a previous patient or even dropped onto the OR floor. Cleanliness is vital through the COVID pandemic. (30)
2. Safe, soft material
Our device is made in the USA with a soft, non-porous, non-toxic, latex free material. The current gauze material of bite blocks is porous, so it can absorb the patient’s secretions. When patients bite down, the absorbed secretions are expelled. This can irritate the patient leading to coughing, bucking, and even laryngospasm, an airway emergency. FDA Registered Class I Medical Device.
3. Endotracheal tube stabilizer
Our device fits securely in patients’ mouths, hugging their teeth and gums. The ET tube fits in a notch in the center of the device which sets the ET tube off the patient’s tongue, lips, and cheeks. It is important to minimize contact with ET tubes because they can lead to pressure ulcers. The ET tube then runs along the handle, and can be taped together, further securing the airway. It is vital to have a secure airway as any ET tube movement can lead to an airway emergency or death. The current bite block does not stabilize the ET tube in any way.
(17, 19, 28)
The Complete Bite Block has standardized dimensions for accountable performance and is engineered specifically for anesthetized patients. The currently used bite block is hand made. It may be rolled unevenly, too small, or too large. This could lead to failure if it is too small, or, if too large, lead to nerve injury, tongue necrosis and airway edema. (15, 16, 17, 27)
5. Clear access to airway
Our device allows the Anesthesia provider access to the airway, which can save patients’ lives. Providers can easily suction and visualize the airway. They can insert an oral airway, laryngoscope, or bronchoscope while our device is in the patient’s mouth. Our device fits under the face mask which allows for bag mask ventilation. It also fits securely around patients’ teeth and gums, helping to protect them from damage during airway manipulation. The current bite block has none of these attributes, and it actually hinders bag mask ventilation. It pushes the tongue posteriorly, which can lead to obstruction.
6. Compatible for prone patient positioning
The Complete Bite Block is designed to work with the current prone pillow. Our handle comes off at an angle, allowing the ET tube to fit through the side of the pillow. Our device fits securely, giving providers more confidence that it is in proper position when patients are flipped. The current bite block easily moves during the flipping process. Once a patient is prone, it is difficult to make sure the current bite block is in proper position. Proper positioning is especially important in neurosurgery cases that use motor monitoring. The monitoring causes patients’ jaws to bite down repeatedly throughout. (15)
7. Patient safety and time saved
Our device is pre-made and ready for immediate use. The current bite block needs to be hand rolled, sometimes multiple times to achieve a proper size. This takes time and effort. With OR costs sky high, every minute of saved time counts. Providers can make the bite block before the case, but it may delay surgery start. They could make it during the case, but that takes their attention away from the patient, potentially compromising patient safety. Also, if an Anesthesia provider has forgotten to make a bite block when they are preparing the patient for extubation, it can be too late. An oral airway may be inserted instead. If a patient bites the hard oral airway, dental damage or oral lesions can occur. (21)
8. Helps prevent swallowing
Our device fits securely in the mouth and has a long handle at an angle, making it difficult to swallow. The current bite block is a tube shape and patients have needed endoscopy procedures for removal after swallowing it. (28)
9. Better bite force distribution
Our device is designed to contact all teeth on half of the mouth. The current bite block may only come in contact with a few teeth, leading to more stress on those teeth and a higher risk of injury.
The handle exclusive to the Complete Bite Block allows for easy insertion, positioning, and removal, as well as area to tape for even greater ET tube stabilization.
The Immense Value for Neuro-Anesthesia
With MEP monitoring, it is imperative to have a bite block to prevent complications from the repeated biting caused by the neuro-stimulation. The Complete Bite Block has many advantages specifically over the gauze bite block. To name a few:
The soft plastic device is designed to fit securely in patients' mouths, ensuring proper bite block placement even when flipping prone (it is also compatible with the prone pillow)
The device has been third party tested to withstand 4X the maximum human bite force
Helps stabilize the endotracheal tube leading to a more secure airway
Allows access to the airway for intubation, suctioning, oral airway placement, etc.
Fits under the face mask to allow for bag mask ventilation