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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 10/12/2020

Updated by: Jesse Borke, MD, CPE, FAAEM, FACEP, Attending Physician at Kaiser Permanente, Orange County, CA. 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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