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Chapter 14. Cricothyrotomy

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All of the following are reported complications of a surgical airway EXCEPT?

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A. Hemorrhage

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B. Fracture of the thyroid cartilage

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C. Subglottic stenosis

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D. Vocal cord damage

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E. Mediastinal emphysema

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(D) It is unlikely to damage the vocal cords while performing a surgical airway (either a cricothyrotomy or tracheotomy) because the placement of the tracheal catheter or tube is below the vocal cords.

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Which of the following is NOT a useful predictor of a difficult cricothyrotomy?

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A. Fixed cervical spine flexion deformity

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B. Previous surgery of the neck

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C. Previous radiation to the neck

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D. Neck hematoma

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E. Cancer of the tongue

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(E) SHORT (Surgery/Spine, Hematoma, Obesity, Radiation, and Tumor), is a useful mnemonic to remind practitioners of the factors that may be associated with a difficult surgical airway. But, cancer of the tongue with no prior radiation to the head and neck is not a useful predictor of a difficult surgical airway.

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Which of the following is NOT true about establishing a surgical airway in children?

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A. A greater risk of posterior perforation while performing a surgical airway in children.

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B. A greater incidence of subglottic stenosis.

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C. The laryngeal prominence does not develop until adolescence.

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D. The height of the cricothyroid membrane is considerably larger in children than adults.

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E. Increase risk of cricoid cartilage damage.

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(D) All the statements are true about establishing a surgical airway in children, except that the height of the cricothyroid membrane is considerably smaller in children than adults.

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