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The surgical airway 

The surgical airway
Chapter:
The surgical airway
Author(s):

Cantlay Kaye

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780199564217.003.0005
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date: 07 April 2020

A surgical airway is an airway created by an invasive technique, as opposed to an airway maintained via an anatomical route such as the oropharynx or nasopharynx. The circumstances prompting the use of a surgical airway are extremely varied, ranging from the desperate emergency where oxygenation cannot be achieved by any other means, to the airway fashioned in a controlled manner as part of an elective surgical procedure or to facilitate weaning from ventilatory support. A number of surgical approaches to the airway exist, including needle cricothyroid puncture and cricothyroidotomy, surgical and percutaneous dilatational tracheostomy, and the submental airway. Each of these will be discussed in turn, focusing on technique, indications, contraindications, and complications.

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