Section III. SURGICAL CRICOTHYROIDOTOMY
A surgical cricothyroidotomy is the first treatment action when the airway is
obstructed by swelling associated with burns, anaphylactic reaction, edema, or a
crushing injury to the larynx. IT IS THE LAST RESORT FOR ALL OTHER TYPES OF
OBSTRUCTION. This task should NOT be performed on infants and children. Only
casualties with a total upper airway obstruction or casualties with inhalation burns
should be considered for surgical cricothyroidotomy.
To perform surgical cricothyroidotomy, you will need the following equipment:
a. Any cutting instrument:
Tin can (edge).
b. If a dilator (an instrument used for stretching an opening) is not available, you
may use one of the following to enlarge the opening:
Hemostats (small surgical clamp for constricting a blood vessel).
Small retractors (Weitlaner).
Pair of keys.
Cannula (noncollapsible tube to maintain airway).
c. Tape or something to hold the tube in place.