Image Number 4 for United States Patent #7556041.
A respiratory apparatus includes an instrument introduction section that is adapted for introducing an instrument into an artificial airway of a patient. The instrument introduction section has a distal end and a proximal end with an opening that allows for insertion of the instrument into the instrument introduction section. The instrument is movable through a passageway between the distal and proximal ends. The distal end is configured for releasable attachment with an artificial airway structure that is attached to the patient. Further, a valve is located in the instrument introduction section. The valve has a closed position in which the passageway is at least substantially isolated from the artificial airway of the patient when the instrument is present and is proximal from the valve. The valve at least substantially blocks the passageway of the instrument introduction section when the valve is in the closed position. The valve also has an open position that allows for the instrument to be moved through the instrument introduction section and into the artificial airway of the patient.