Point-of-Care Airway Ultrasonography Prior to an Emergency Cricothyroidotomy: Case report

Mohamad Iqhbal, Julina M. Noor, Nur A. Karim, Izzat Ismail, Halim Sanib, Mohd A. Mokhtar, Safreeda S. F. Salim


The use of ultrasonography in acute and critical care medicine is becoming increasingly common. However, use of an airway ultrasound as an adjunct to determine the type of intervention needed and assess complications is not common practice. We report a 56-year-old male who presented to the Emergency Department of the Sungai Buloh Hospital, Selangor, Malaysia, in 2015 with hoarseness, stridor and impending respiratory failure. A point-of-care ultrasound performed to assess the neck and vocal cords indicated a heterogeneous echogenic mass in the larynx, thus ruling out a cricothyroidotomy. The patient was therefore referred for an emergency tracheostomy. This case highlights the importance of point-of-care airway ultrasonography in the assessment of patients with stridor. This imaging technique not only helps to detect the cause of the stridor, but also to determine the feasibility of a cricothyroidotomy in emergency cases.

Keywords: Emergency Medicine; Stridor; Ultrasonography; Airway Management; Tracheostomy; Case Report; Malaysia.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.18295/squmj.2018.18.02.017


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