Emergency 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:
- Trauma to the larynx, thyroid gland, or esophagus
Expectations after surgery
Emergency airway puncture (cricothyrotomy) can be quite effective in relieving an airway obstruction.
by Levon Ter-Markosyan, D.M.D.
All ArmMed Media material is provided for information only and is neither advice nor a substitute for proper medical care. Consult a qualified healthcare professional who understands your particular history for individual concerns.