Cricothyrotomy devices

Two 'options' exist for cricothyrotomy equipment:

1. Manufactured complete kit solutions

A number of kits are available from a range of suppliers which contain everything needed to perform a cricothyrotomy. Here we describe the two devices currently used at UCSF. One is a cuffed cricothyromy cannula kit and the other a needle cricothyrotomy cannula kit which includes an Enk oxygen flow modulator. They both require a (dilational) percutaneous technique based on the Seldinger method to access the airway.

Some significant differences exist between these two types of devices. Each has certain advantages as well as disadvantage (see table below).


2. 'McGyver' device solutions

It is also possible to 'mccgyver' a needle cricothyrotomy kit together from a range of hospital supplies such as oxygen tubing, Tuohy epidural needles, iv cannulas, three-way stopcocks, etc. There is really no advantage to using such assemblies over kits which have been specifically designed for cricothyrotomy, unless you are in a location where no dedicated cricothyrotomy equipment is available.

Below are some examples of what can work, but again, we suggest to use dedicated equipment. In our opinion it is best to have one type of purpose-designed kit available in all anesthesia locations within a hospital.

Coming soon...

If you feel adventurous enough to use your own home-made assembly of a needle cricothyrotomy kit, remember to know in advance which supplies to use, where they can be found, how to assemble them quickly, and what the disadvantages are compared to dedicated equipment!