Emergency battlefield cricothyrotomy complicated by tube occlusion

J Emerg Trauma Shock. 2009 Jan;2(1):54-5. doi: 10.4103/0974-2700.44686.


Emergency cricothyrotomy is a technique used to secure an otherwise compromised or inaccessible airway and has been recommended for use in the battlefield under certain circumstances. This case reports an acute complication of emergency cricothyrotomy. An Iraqi soldier, injured in an improvised explosive device blast received an emergency battlefield cricothyrotomy. At the Combat Support Hospital, the patient became more difficult to ventilate and was taken to the operating room for tracheostomy. The cricothyrotomy tube was found to be occluded with blood.

Keywords: Cricothyrotomy; airway; battlefield; complications; occlusion.