Contrived Breathing Circuit Connection for Emergency Percutaneous Transtracheal Ventilation by Needle Cricothyrotomy in the Field


Naftalovich R, Iskander AJ 22(1). 102 - 103 (Journal Article)

Surgical airway approaches are, at times, last resort options in difficult airway management. In Special Operations these interventions confront distorted anatomy from combat trauma, extreme conditions, and may be performed by non-medically trained personnel. Under these circumstances, needle cricothyroidotomy using a large bore intravenous catheter can be considered. A small syringe connected to the needle can confirm transtracheal placement through air aspiration before passing the angiocatheter over the needle. Button activated retracting needles should be avoided for this when possible. We recommend a 3-mL Luer-lock syringe because a small syringe is better suited for generating pressure and once the catheter is in the trachea, this same syringe can be connected to bag valve ventilation by replacing its plunger with a connector from a 6.5-, 7-, or 7.5-mm endotracheal tube. Adding these small and light high-yield items to the Tactical Combat Casualty Care medic inventory should be considered in future revisions.

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