Frequently Asked Questions

How does the Oxford HELP<sup>®</sup> aid intubation in the obese patient?

It realigns the patient’s anatomy such that the patient behaves, physiologically, like that of a normal BMI. The configuration of the headpiece combined with the elevation pillow allows the head and neck to achieve the perfect position for laryngoscopy. It increases the thyromental space making cricoid pressure easier to apply.

Does it have a purpose for all anaesthetic patients?

Certainly. It is the unexpected difficult airway that provides the greatest challenges. Employing the HELP® for every induction, the clinician can be confident they will achieve optimal tidal volumes, preoxygenation and laryngoscopy.

How do I position a patient on the Oxford HELP<sup>®</sup>?

Every elevation pillow is marked with indicators to show where the patient’s shoulders should rest. The headpiece is then placed under the head so that it cradles the head and allows it to rest back in the conventional ‘sniff’ position.

What are the benefits of the Oxford HELP<sup>®</sup>?

It dramatically reduces  the risks associated with difficult airway scenarios.

It improves FRC in the obese or obstetric patient.

It allows easy manual ventilation of the obese or obstetric patient with normal tidal volumes.

It provides a comfortable position for awake or sedated patients undergoing regional anaesthesia.

It eliminates the need for ward pillows and provides a more hygienic, hypoallergenic clinical base.

Is the Oxford HELP<sup>®</sup> a suitable device for anaesthetists of any experience?

The Oxford HELP® is especially valuable for inexperienced anaesthetists especially those working alone, out of hours or in a remote clinical areas, but it is also used extensively by senior anaesthetists who appreciate its clinical value and contribution to patient safety.

Are there any contraindications for use?

Patients with unstable cervical vertebrae should not be placed on the Oxford HELP®. Otherwise, this device is compatible for any surgical procedure including laparoscopic procedures.

How is neural injury prevented?

The full system can be provided with arm supports with integrated straps which fit on top of standard operating table arm boards. There is also the Oxford Sinus which is a bolster to prevent hyperextension of the knees. The small Cuneo wedge can be used in numerous locations but specifically prevents damage to the brachial plexus where the shoulders are left unsupported due to the spinal ridge of adipose tissue in the hyper obese.

Is the Oxford HELP<sup>®</sup> reusable?


Is the Oxford HELP<sup>®</sup> expensive?

Not at all. It also facilitates departmental savings by reducing the use of fibre-optic scopes, disposable difficult airway devices for example Airtraq.

Where is the Oxford HELP<sup>®</sup> manufactured?

Here in the UK.

Doesn’t tilting the table achieve the same results?

Tilting the table helps with FRC but does not realign the anatomy in order to guarantee the perfect laryngoscopy nor does it provide an ergonomically ideal environment for female or shorter anaesthetists.

How is the Oxford HELP<sup>®</sup> decontaminated?

The Oxford HELP® can be cleaned as per the recommendations of the department’s infection control policy.

Is the Oxford HELP<sup>®</sup> CE marked?


Who uses the Oxford HELP<sup>®</sup>?

This device is used throughout NHS and private hospitals in the UK. It is mainly used in anaesthetic departments but is found in ICU and A&E departments. There are many hospitals abroad using the Oxford HELP®.

Is the Oxford HELP<sup>®</sup> endorsed by external clinical bodies?

Yes. This device features in the DAS NAP4 report. It is also cited in a number of textbooks and journals.

How long does it take to order an Oxford HELP<sup>®</sup>?

As long as it takes procurement to organise it. We have the HELP® in stock and ready to go.