Magill forceps


  • Magill forceps


  • aid passage of an endotracheal tube into the larynx (e.g. nasal intubation)
  • aid gastric tube passage into the oesophagus
  • remove foreign bodies from the airway/ pharynx
  • place pharyngeal packs (e.g. bleeding)


  • Twin-bladed tong-like forceps
  • handles for gripping by the user
  • rounded ends for grasping
  • oblique angle between handles and blades to enable prevent obscuration of the view of the airway during use
  • Reusable or disposable (usually stainless steel)
  • infant, child and adult sizes
  • polished and dull finishes
  • open and closed end design to aid gripping of different materials
Magill forceps


  • used to grasp objects under direct vision
  • best used with a laryngoscope to produce an optimal view of the larynx and displace soft tissues forward to create space for manipulation


  • Local trauma
  • breakage of forceps
  • unable to grasp small objects (e.g. coin) if inadvertently using open tipped forceps


  • Named after its designer Sir Ivan Whiteside Magill (1888-1986), Irish-born pioneer of Anaesthetics
  • Originally designed and described in 1920

Ivan Magill on the development of anaesthesia using and endotracheal tube (1965):

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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