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Emergency airway puncture - series—Indications

Indications

Overview

The area of the larynx bounded by the thyroid and cricoid cartilage is a frequent site for obstruction, either by swallowed foreign bodies or abnormal tissue growths. A cricothyrotomy is an emergency procedure that relieves an airway obstruction until formal surgical placement of a breathing tube (tracheostomy) is performed.

Review Date 11/28/2016

Updated by: Jacob L. Heller, MD, MHA, Emergency Medicine, Virginia Mason Medical Center, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

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