Use of the plastic needle in transtracheal anesthesia overcomes problems which have beset the transtracheal technique in the past. It was Canuyt1 who first suggested the method of injecting medication directly into the trachea. He used a short needle inserted through the skin and cricothyroid membrane into the lumen. This method remained popular in Europe for many years before it came to attention in this country. Harken and Salzberg2 with a series of 1,000 patients, first reported its use here. The technique has been used not only for instillation of topical anesthetic, but for contrast media for bronchography as well.
Several shortcomings of the older technique have been apparent. The first of these is the necessary rapid instillation of anesthetic solution. This is brought about by the severe coughing produced by initial injection of solution. Thus, with a rigid needle through the skin and into the trachea, the