Tracheostomy Emergencies in Adults

Authors: Jonathan Cooper / Editor: Frances Balmer / Codes: Published: 26/11/2021


Tracheostomy emergencies are rare in the emergency department (ED) but are associated with high mortality and morbidity. It is therefore essential that emergency department practitioners are competent in assessing and stabilising patients with complications arising from tracheostomies.

Learning objectives:

  • Understand the basic anatomy surrounding tracheostomies and laryngectomies.
  • Describe the types of tracheostomy tube and adjuncts.
  • Describe common tracheostomy-related complications.
  • Follow a structured approach to assess a patient with a tracheostomy or laryngectomy
  • Use national guidelines and algorithms to assess and stabilise an airway emergency in a patient with a tracheostomy or laryngectomy


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