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 Martin A. Harms, 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.