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Emergency airway puncture
Alternative namesEmergency airway puncture; Needle cricothyrotomy
This is an emergency incision, or insertion of a hollow needle, into the airway (larynx). It is used to treat life-threatening choking.
In an emergency situation, when someone is choking and all other efforts to assist with breathing have failed, a hollow needle can be inserted into the throat, just below the Adam's apple (cricoid cartilage). In hospital settings, a small skin incision may be made before inserting the needle or tube.
A cricothyrotomy is recommended as an emergency procedure to relieve an airway obstruction until surgical placement of a breathing tube ( tracheostomy ) can be done.
Risks for any surgery are:
Additional risks include:
Expectations after surgery
Emergency airway puncture (cricothyrotomy) can be quite effective in relieving an airway obstruction.
See tracheostomy .
Update Date: 10/27/2003James L. Demetroulakos M.D. F.A.C.S., Department Of Otolaryngology, North Shore Medical Center, Salem, MA. Clinical Instructor in Otology and Laryngology Harvard Medical School. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network.
Last updated: Tue, 06 Jan 2009 00:20:03 GMT