Airway obstruction is one of the few real emergencies in medical practice. This illustrated article demonstrates the anatomy related to and the operative technique of tracheostomy. The indications for a tracheostomy are divided into clinical and anatomic. The clinical indications are further seperated into absolute and select groups while the anatomic is separated into supraglottic, glottic, and subglottic locations of airway obstruction. The resultant advantageous changes in respiratory physiology following tracheostomy are enumerated and cannot be overemphasized. Postoperative care is most important and is listed in detail.The indications and technique of tracheomediastinotomy (combined tracheostomy and bilateral cervical mediastinotomy) are described.It is urged that a policy of watch and wait, except in rare instances as in the newborn, should give way to the acceptance of tracheostomy not as a last-minute resort but as a well-executed but yet simply performed procedure.Indications, Clinical
Radical Head and
LORÉ JM. Tracheostomy. AMA Arch Otolaryngol. 1958;68(6):727–736. doi:10.1001/archotol.1958.00730020751011
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