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December 13, 2018

The Essentials-Only Emergency Tracheotomy Pan: Keeping It Simple With Open Emergent Airways

Author Affiliations
  • 1Division of Otolaryngology–Head & Neck Surgery, The University of Wisconsin School of Public Health and Medicine, Madison
  • 2Austin Ear, Nose & Throat Clinic, Austin, Texas
JAMA Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. Published online December 13, 2018. doi:10.1001/jamaoto.2018.3425

Responsibility for obtaining surgical access to the airway is a privileged authority shared by otolaryngologists.1 In patients where attempts to ventilate or intubate have failed, the situation becomes emergent. Already intrinsically laden with hardship, lack of proper instrumentation or access further acts unnecessarily to complicate an already stressful situation.

Standard tracheotomy pans contain a variety of instruments. In an emergency, however, the number and complexity of instruments is overwhelming. Traditional tracheostomy trays are cumbersome and finding the appropriate instrument is difficult among the menagerie. Furthermore, the scalpel handle in a tracheotomy pan has no blade on it, thereby requiring extra time to find and safely load a blade for incision.

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