Outcomes of emergency surgical airway procedures in a hospital-wide setting

M B Gillespie, D W Eisele
Laryngoscope 1999, 109 (11): 1766-9

OBJECTIVE: To review the circumstances, complications, and outcomes of emergency surgical airway procedures and to compare the relative merits of cricothyroidotomy and tracheotomy for airway control in a hospital-wide patient population.

STUDY DESIGN: Retrospective review.

METHODS: Patient data were obtained from the inpatient charts and electronic patient records of 35 patients who required an emergency surgical airway over a 6-year period at an urban medical center.

RESULTS: Emergency cricothyroidotomy and tracheotomy were successfully performed in 34 of 35 patients (97%). Orotracheal intubation was successfully achieved in one patient with a failed cricothyroidotomy. The overall complication rates for emergency cricothyroidotomy and tracheotomy were similar (20% and 21%, respectively). Inpatients requiring an emergency surgical airway had a higher complication rate (32% vs. 0%) but better overall survival (91% vs. 46%) than patients treated in the emergency department. No long-term complications were observed from emergency cricothyroidotomies that were not converted to tracheotomies.

CONCLUSION: The establishment of an emergency surgical airway by either tracheotomy or cricothyroidotomy is effective with low overall morbidity. The need to convert every emergency cricothyroidotomy to a tracheotomy should be reevaluated.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article


You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Related Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.


Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"