Quick Response Tracheotomy: A Novel Surgical Procedure

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Quick response tracheostomy (QRT) is a novel open surgical technique to emergently establish an airway. The method is simple; the skills necessary to perform this procedure are rapidly acquired; and it is expedient, minimally traumatic, and remarkably devoid of complications often encountered with percutaneous dilatational tracheotomies, including those complications seen with cricothyroidotomies. Unlike all other tracheotomies in which considerable blunt dissection is required, QRT avoids tissue crushing because sharp dissection alone is used to acquire surgical access to the trachea. The QRT does not entail inserting a guidewire into the trachea, a standard feature for percutaneous tracheal access; it avoids any risk of unintended laceration of the posterior tracheal wall and proximal subjacent esophagus. The technique averts tracheal ring fracture and tracheoesophageal fistula complications. The QRT has a uniquely low incidence of inducing hemorrhage, and it requires no steps that cause temporary tracheal occlusion and will therefore not facilitate hypoxia. The QRT contributes minimally to conditions favorable for generating subglottic stenosis, and the procedure is swiftly executed with very low probability for external tracheal placement of the tracheostomy tube. The QRT is not a blind procedure. No special instruments are required for its execution nor is concurrent tracheoscopy required at any stage while performing a QRT as is specified for percutaneous tracheotomies.

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