Which Airway Mannequin for Resuscitationists?

Who would know better than Minh Le Cong? He recommends this particular model from Nasco (as always neither of us have any COI).

Nasco Critical Airway Manager


Minh has beaten the crap our of his, drowned it, and basically committed levels of abuse that would get him arrested in a more civilized country.

Also Checkout the Cool DIY Work by Jim DuCanto, MD


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  1. says

    Trucorp…advanced trauma is better with the most realistic airway than most cheaper models that exist. Just with their esophagus was developed better to allow for the mistakened esophageal intubations that will occur with airway personnel. At least better than Laerdal..mannequins. Most educators short change themselves to buy more crappy..mannequins to teach more of the masses. Just my opinion as an airway educator at my shop. The most difficult airway mannequin that exists is the Airway Larry. Leathery prominent tongue with a very anterior airway. I challenge anyone with a video laryngoscope..or regular direct laryngoscope blade to tell me different.

    • says

      Jose-have you tried Minh’s. I’ve not tried either. Nasco offers free trial–why don’t you request one and do a head-to-head and let us know.


  2. says

    thanks for question ,James
    There are many airway trainers for sale. When setting up a prehosp airway course a few years ago , I researched a lot of them based on cost, fidelity, capacity to improvise difficulty airways, durability, portability, ability to practice all emergency airway techniques.

    My conclusion after my research was pretty much all airway trainers were poor fidelity regardless of cost. They simulated difficult airways crudely, either by tongue inflation or restricting neck movement. only a few were designed to practice all airway techniques inc surgical awy.

    I realise now on talking to other airway obsessed educators like Richard Levitan , James Du Canto and Nicholas Chrimes, that we have all arrived at same conclusion: airway mannequins are not best for training good technique, but are good at training human factors and team based aspects of emergency airway management.

    Levitan is right now developing hyperrealistic custom made mannikins using 3D printer based technology and already has made a series of Trucorp trainers with different larynxes.

    The point is current generation airway trainers are not great,expensive and train providers to manage only THAT models airway!

    so why the Nasco critical airway trainer? its got the compromise between affordability , portability, durability and ability to practice all airway techniques. The Laerdal airway trainer lacks that, for-example you cant do cric on it. yet its more expensive.
    Trucorps airway heads are good but expensive and lack surg awy in the cheaper models

    The Nasco was one of the only ones I researched that offered simulated bloody airway option. it has a tube and injection port to squirt fake bloodor vomit into the pharynx. in fact its not very realistic! there was an improvised technique to simulate bloody airway we developed with the Nasco that worked fantastically!

    the Nasco is durable. you can give it a shower to wash off dirt,blood etc. in fact I ran a scenario of an assault victim with smashed face and airway bleeding , in an actual shower! it helped with clean up afterwards!
    I threw the Nasco in a lake once for a simulated drowning scenario, no problem.

    finally , the Nasco is more portable. its lighter than Laerdal models

    I will post some pictures and video on PHARM

  3. Jimmy D says

    To clarify on this topic:
    1. Most mannequins will NOT seal an SGA adequately to permit simulation of proper ventilation techniques. They all seal partially, which induces the student to use excessively high flow rates (i.e., squeezing the BVM hard and fast to get the lungs to inflate). How do you get the positive feedback of ventilating the mannequin in these cases? You overdo the ventilation flow rate.

    Out of the 4 (store bought) mannequins I own, only the CPRalene will seal sufficiently to a SGA (an iGel size 4). That mannequin is a pretty hard DL by the way, but as a CPR (and ventilation) mannequin, it’s not so good. Springs too soft for real CPR, lungs made (literally) out of plastic bags.

    2. I sought to demonstrate, and then teach the fiberoptic methods of intubating through an SGA without interrupting ventilation. Hard to do with an Air-Q, as no existing mannequin will adequately seal it. Along comes an inexpensive, workable solution: Use the Laerdal Tongue and Larynx Demonstration model as the core component of a mannequin in which the SGA is secured in proper position for intubation, and furthermore, sealed air-tight to the mannequin (because it is glued in place). Now we can practice proper BVM technique on a sealed airway (leading to a 3 liter test lung), continue to ventilate during flexible endoscopy on the model (with an endoscopy port adapter), etc…

    These are some of the issues that led me to build my own simulators. If anyone is interested in building their own, let Scott know and he’ll connect us.

  4. James Romano says

    I like them all. any trainer model is better then no model at all. Each service needs to analyze their specific needs and money situation. I do agree the more portable the better. My name is Jim Romano. I’m a Fire Captain/Paramedic and EMS Training Officer for the Olathe Fire Department.

  5. Thomas Froh says

    Looking at buying new airway manikins for our Simulation Centre in Canada. Largest group of users here are medical students learning to manage airways for the first time. We have several Nasco/lifeform Advanced Airway Larry trainers that aren’t holding up very well (lots of torn airways). We’d like to try something new and the front runner right now seems to be the Laerdal Deluxe Difficult Airway Trainer. Most of our users are leaning towards this because it is the easiest airway to place an Et into (best for beginners?). Also, the students must be able to BVM ventilate the manikins (with realistic chest rise) before they place advanced airways.

    From my experience the TruCorp trainers seem to be the most realistic looking airways but are quite difficult to get grade 1 view. The transport program I work for has an infant and 1 year old that I like using a lot but my experience with the adult head is much more limited. They also don’t have chests so some of our instructors have written them off based on that.

    In saying all of this, the beginner med students are not our only users. We have RTs, Nurses, Anaesthesia, ER residents and ICU physicians as well as run ACLS, PALS and ATLS courses. We also have several high fidelity adult manikins (Gaumard) that can be used for more difficult airway management (have the ability to become quite difficult).

    So to make a long story short we need something that does everything but errs towards the newer learners. Please help.

    Thomas Froh RN

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