Bite block


  • Bite block


Prevent damage a patient from biting down:

  • when placing an device in or through the oral cavity, or
  • during an intraoral procedure (e.g. endotracheal tube, laryngeal mask airway, bronchoscopy, endoscopy, transoesophageal echocardiography probe)


  • different designs available most are disposable
  • Bite GardTM – inserts between the molars and prevents closure of the jaws; has a handle-like tail that rests externally on the cheek to avoid swallowing the device and for manipulating the position
  • Bite blocks – have a flat bite portion that may be padded and an internal, and larger external flanged portion to prevent dislodgement; some have a port for attachment of oxygen and others an open area through which the operators protected fingers can be inserted to help manipulate a scope into position; some have a head strap


  • insertion of the device between the patient’s teeth
  • best performed with either an alert co-operative patient or a sedated and paralysed patient


  • Trauma to the patients teeth or oral mucosa including bleeding
  • laryngospasm
  • can induce regurgitation, vomiting and aspiration
  • displacement into the esophagus or airway obstruction
  • injury to the proceduralist during insertion


  • An oropharyngeal (Guedel) airway can be used as a bite block but has a hard surface that can cause injury to the teeth, especially in patient’s with poor dentition
  • a gauze taped into a roll is an improvised alternative
CCC 700 6

Critical Care


Chris is an Intensivist and ECMO specialist at the Alfred ICU in Melbourne. He is also a Clinical Adjunct Associate Professor at Monash University. He is a co-founder of the Australia and New Zealand Clinician Educator Network (ANZCEN) and is the Lead for the ANZCEN Clinician Educator Incubator programme. He is on the Board of Directors for the Intensive Care Foundation and is a First Part Examiner for the College of Intensive Care Medicine. He is an internationally recognised Clinician Educator with a passion for helping clinicians learn and for improving the clinical performance of individuals and collectives.

After finishing his medical degree at the University of Auckland, he continued post-graduate training in New Zealand as well as Australia’s Northern Territory, Perth and Melbourne. He has completed fellowship training in both intensive care medicine and emergency medicine, as well as post-graduate training in biochemistry, clinical toxicology, clinical epidemiology, and health professional education.

He is actively involved in in using translational simulation to improve patient care and the design of processes and systems at Alfred Health. He coordinates the Alfred ICU’s education and simulation programmes and runs the unit’s education website, INTENSIVE.  He created the ‘Critically Ill Airway’ course and teaches on numerous courses around the world. He is one of the founders of the FOAM movement (Free Open-Access Medical education) and is co-creator of litfl.com, the RAGE podcast, the Resuscitology course, and the SMACC conference.

His one great achievement is being the father of three amazing children.

On Twitter, he is @precordialthump.

| INTENSIVE | RAGE | Resuscitology | SMACC

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