McMurray Medical Group was founded in St. Paul, Minn., by a practicing anesthesia professional with firsthand knowledge of the gaps in airway management. Patients and procedures have changed significantly in the last several decades, but airway management devices have not. Today’s patients often present with an increased risk of upper airway obstruction and apnea due to an abundance of redundant tissue in the distal pharynx. Patients who are obese, have sleep apnea, and older are prone to distal pharyngeal airway obstruction. Mask ventilation can also present challenges, especially with patients who present with a beard or edentulism. Intraoral ventilation bypasses difficult mask variables.
Roxanne McMurray, DNP, APRN, CRNA and inventor of the McMurray Enhanced Airway (MEA), created a new multipurpose distal pharyngeal airway (DPA) device to fill the void in airway tools and meet the needs of today’s patients and providers.
The MEA quickly and easily stents open the upper airway with a unique longer, flexible-tubing design that differentiates it from other currently available products. The design makes it particularly well suited for deep MAC/sedation, a commonly used anesthesia practice in outpatient surgery cases and non-operating room anesthesia (NORA).
Adverse respiratory outcomes from inadequate ventilation and oxygenation were the most reported ASA closed claims for monitored anesthesia care (MAC) between 2003 and 2012, yet were found to be preventable.[1,2] The fact that there is a gap in airway tools is reflected by a significant number of airway-related closed claims and malpractice lawsuits, as well as the growth of workarounds. These workarounds include adapting airway tools meant for other uses (e.g., nasal airways used orally) and using chin lift and jaw thrust maneuvers to maintain an open airway.
For positive pressure mask ventilation difficulties, the MEA has an optional connector that couples to a resuscitation bag or anesthesia circuit to facilitate intraoral ventilation. Intraoral ventilation avoids oxygen leaking around a difficult mask fit and positions the oxygen closer to the lungs to improve oxygenation and ventilation.
In addition to Roxanne McMurray, three other McMurray Medical Group co-founders bring medical device manufacturing, sales & marketing, and financial management experience to the company. MEA distribution began in August of 2019 and the device is now used in more than 45 states in the U.S. McMurray Medical Group is an approved vendor in some of the country’s best-known healthcare facilities and academic medical centers, along with multi-clinic systems and outpatient surgery centers. Made in the U.S., the MEA is sold directly as well as through some of the nation’s leading anesthesia product suppliers.
Anesthesia providers’ response to the MEA has been overwhelmingly positive. McMurray Medical Group looks forward to future growth and adoption of this innovative airway management approach.
1. Mora, et al. Adv Anesth. 2018;36(1):231-49.
2. Larson, et al. AANA J. 2018;86:201-8.
3. McMurray, et al. AANA J. 2020;88(2):123‐129.