Last reviewed 01/2018

A needle cricothyroidotomy is an emergency procedure, attempting to gain an airway. It involves the insertion of the largest bore cannula available through the easily identifiable cricothyroid membrane, between the thyroid and cricoid cartilages in the anterior midline.

It is a temporary procedure that allows rapid entrance to the airway for ventilation and oxygenation. Care must be taken to hold the needle in position.

Complications include:

  • haemorrhage
  • perforation of oesophagus