Cricothyroidotomy and tracheotomy

The cricothyroidotomy is performed higher up on the neck than the tracheotomy. It should be located approximately 1 inch below the top of the larynx (Adam's apple). This procedure may be performed by EMT personnel at the scene because there are fewer complications than the tracheotomy.

The tracheotomy is performed by a physician. It is an incision in the lower neck through the skin and airway (trachea) to establish an airway. This can be done emergently or as therapy for difficulty in breathing. This procedure is not performed out in the field, only in the hospital. The incision should not be confused with a stab or incised wound. Checking with the physician or the medical record will reveal who performed the procedure and when it took place.

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