The Sheldon tracheotome was devised for blind emergency tracheotomy.1 It has since been used electively in hospitals for unconscious patients with head injury, postoperative craniotomy cases, and after control of post-thyroidectomy hemorrhage even though the trachea had been exposed.2 The procedure has been described as so simple and safe that it might be placed in the hands of corpsmen on independent duty.2 No serious complication of the procedure has been reported. In view of these favorable reports it may be expected that many physicians will be encouraged to carry the instrument in their bags and that the instrument will be used by individuals who would not ordinarily undertake to perform a classical operative tracheotomy.
The instrument (fig. 1) consists of a slotted 13-gauge needle, a tapered tracheotomy tube, and a bladed trocar. The recommended procedure is as follows2: "The operator stands at the head of the
Smith VM. PERFORATION OF TRACHEA DURING TRACHEOTOMY PERFORMED WITH SHELDON TRACHEOTOME. JAMA. 1957;165(16):2074–2076. doi:10.1001/jama.1957.72980340001011
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