Two-Stage Technique Used to Manage Severe Upper Airway Obstruction and Avoid Surgical Tracheostomy: A Case Report

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Abstract

Severe upper airway obstruction is commonly managed with surgical tracheostomy under local anesthesia. We present a 49-year-old woman with postradiotherapy laryngeal fixation and transglottic stenosis for dilation of a pharyngeal stricture who refused elective tracheostomy. A 2-stage technique was used, which involved an awake fiberoptic intubation, followed by the transtracheal insertion of a Cricath needle and ventilation using an ejector-based Ventrain device. We discuss management aspects of this clinical scenario and the principles by which the Ventrain works.

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