Emcrit on Cricothyroid Membrane
Being able to identify the cricoid thyroid membrane is essential for establishing a surgical airway.
The cricothyroid membrane is located between the cricoid cartilage and thyroid cartilage on the anterior aspect of the trachea. One of the most common mistakes in cricothyroidotomies is misidentification of the landmarks which can lead to a failed surgical airway, bleeding, damage to other structures and can be fatal.
This demonstration by Scott Weingart (@emcrit) outlines a simple method for identifying the CTM. He advises identifiying the sternal notch then palpating ventrally for the cricoid cartilage. Immediately superior to that is the membrane. If unable to palpate the he recommends a skin incision with dissection of the soft tissues and direct visualization of the CTM. Following this, he asks participants to identify their own, as well as their peers CTM.
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