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JOURNAL ARTICLE

Intubation of the Right Atrium During an Attempted Modified Surgical Airway in a Pig

Jason Bowman, Andrew Juergens, Matthew McClure, Dave Spear
Journal of Special Operations Medicine: a Peer Reviewed Journal for SOF Medical Professionals 2017, 17 (2): 96-100
28599040
In modern medicine, the surgical cricothyrotomy is an airway procedure of last resort. In austere environments, however, its simplicity may make it a more feasible option than carrying a full complement of laryngoscopes. To create a Transportation Security Agency-compliant compact first-response bag, we attempted to establish a surgical cricothyrotomy in a pig, using trauma shears, basic medical scissors, a pocket bougie, and an endotracheal tube. Bougies can provide tactile feedback via the "tracheal ring sign" and "stop sign" to indicate positive tracheal placement during orotracheal intubation. We report on a previously unknown serious potential complication that questions the use of scissors to establish a surgical airway and the reliability of tactile bougie signs when translated into certain surgical airways.

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