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Chapter 14. Cricothyrotomy

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

A. Hemorrhage

B. Fracture of the thyroid cartilage

C. Subglottic stenosis

D. Vocal cord damage

E. Mediastinal emphysema

(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.

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

A. Fixed cervical spine flexion deformity

B. Previous surgery of the neck

C. Previous radiation to the neck

D. Neck hematoma

E. Cancer of the tongue

(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.

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

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

B. A greater incidence of subglottic stenosis.

C. The laryngeal prominence does not develop until adolescence.

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

E. Increase risk of cricoid cartilage damage.

(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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