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Emergency airway puncture - series—Incision

Incision

Overview

If the situation is acute, a hollow needle is inserted into the throat, just below the Adam's apple (thyroid cartilage). This is called a needle cricothyrotomy. More frequently, a small incision is made in the skin over the cricothyroid membrane, and another incision is made through the membrane between the cricoid and thyroid cartilage.

Update Date 11/3/2014

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

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