FONA (Front-of-neck airway) equipment

Claas Siegmueller


The devices covered on this page are all designed to access the airway through the cricothyroid membrane (CTM), i.e. perform a cricothyrotomy. Tracheostomy tubes are technically also FONA devices but are discussed separately elsewhere.

One sensible way of classifying FONA devices is by their diameter, separating them into 'small-bore' and 'large-bore' devices. The diameter is important, because it has a bearing onto what kind of oxygen source and oxygen delivery conduit can be connected to the FONA device once placed into the trachea:

  • 'Small-bore' devices are generally types of trans-tracheal cannulas.
  • 'Large-bore' devices (Patel & Frerk, 2008) include purpose-designed cricothyrotomy cannulas (such as the Melker cannula), standard ET tubes, or tracheostomy tubes.

Tracheostomy tubes are discussed elsewhere.

FONA equipment divided by diameter into 'small-bore' and 'large-bore' devices; also listed are appropriate oxygen sources and oxygen delivery conduits


The design features of various FONA devices and kits are discussed under each heading. All of these are cricothyrotomy devices and are therefore placed through the cricothyroid membrane. Tracheostomy devices are discussed separately!


FONA devices are used for the rescue of a CICO scenario (there are also some very limited indications for 'elective' FONA). FONA for CICO resue is described on the FONA (front-of-neck airway) page.

Equipment for at least one type of a FONA technique should be immediately available at any location where anesthesia is provided.


Duggan, L. V.; Ballantyne Scott, B.; Law, J. A.; Morris, I. R.; Murphy, M. F.; Griesdale, D. E. (2016): Transtracheal jet ventilation in the 'can't intubate can't oxygenate' emergency: a systematic review. In British Journal of Anaesthesia 117 Suppl 1, i28-i38. DOI: 10.1093/bja/aew192.

Lenfant, François; Péan, Didier; Brisard, Laurent; Freysz, Marc; Lejus, Corinne (2010): Oxygen delivery during transtracheal oxygenation: a comparison of two manual devices. In Anesthesia and Analgesia 111 (4), pp. 922–924. DOI: 10.1213/ANE.0b013e3181ee81b0.

Patel, Bhavesh; Frerk, Christopher (2008): Large-bore cricothyroidotomy devices. In Continuing Education in Anaesthesia Critical Care & Pain 8 (5), pp. 157–160. DOI: 10.1093/bjaceaccp/mkn029.

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