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Charlie Fox Cric & Common Pitfalls in the Surgical Airway-Cynthia Griffin

Go from cric-disaster-cursed to cric-educationally-versed. We will discuss a real interfacility HEMS transport case of a Can’t Intubate Can’t Oxygenate (CICO) patient requiring a surgical airway after an unrecognized false passage. This session will review the pertinent anatomy regarding the surgical airway, common and uncommon pitfalls, and techniques to overcome them by looking at the available literature on this topic. A discussion will examine what the future holds for this advanced procedure as the availability of ultrasound increases.

Learning Objectives:

1. Understand the pitfalls and techniques to combat errors with front-of-neck access in the Can't Intubate Can't Oxygenate patient scenario.

2. Describe the pertinent anatomical structures related to front-of-neck access for the surgical airway.

3. Describe multiple techniques to find the appropriate landmarks for front-of-neck access for the surgical airway.

4. Become more familiar and have more confidence in completing the surgical airway for critical patients. 

5. Review ways to make cricothyrotomies successful by minimizing complications that can occur and reviewing a real-life case of a disastrous airway.


Alshareef, H., Al Saawi, A., Almazroua, F., Alyami, H., Reilly, G., & Mitra, B. (n.d.). Localisation of the cricothyroid membrane by digital palpation in the emergency department. Postgraduate Medical Journal., 94(1114), 442-445.

Bribriesco, A., & Patterson, G. (n.d.). Cricothyroid Approach for Emergency Access to the Airway. Thorac Surg Clin, 28(3), 435-440.

Alerhand, S. (n.d.). Ultrasound for identifying the cricothyroid membrane prior to the anticipated difficult airway. The American Journal of Emergency Medicine., The American journal of emergency medicine., 2018.

  • Format
  • Duration
    1 hour
  • Credits
    1 CE
  • After passing the course, your certificate will be available for download here.