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August 1967

Needle Tracheostomy—Further Evaluation

Author Affiliations

Los Angeles
From the Division of Thoracic and Cardiac Surgery, Wadsworth Hospital, Veterans Administration Center, Los Angeles, and the Department of Surgery, UCLA School of Medicine. Dr. Hughes is presently with the Department of Surgery, College of Medicine, University of Utah, Salt Lake City.

Arch Surg. 1967;95(2):295-296. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1967.01330140133029

IN 1966, we reported physiologic data from dogs and calves which suggested that needle tracheostomy with size 13 or smaller needles 2 inches in length, was not a satisfactory substitute for operative tracheostomy or insertion of a standard endotracheal tube in the adult human with acute upper respiratory obstruction.1 A significant number of the dogs with size 13 needle tracheostomies developed hypercarbia, hypoxemia, and acidosis. Their average weight was 17.4 kg (38.4 lb).

The present experiments were done to determine the possible usefulness of emergency needle tracheostomy for infants with acute obstruction of the upper airway. Needle tracheostomy was done after complete occlusion of the trachea in dogs weighing 11.3 kg (25 lb) or less, in order to evaluate the physiologic effects of this form of ventilation.

Materials and Methods  The procedures were carried out in a similar manner to that previously reported.1 Ten dogs weighing 11.3 kg

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