Published Jul 25, 2013

Fuzhou Wang  


Cricothyroidotomy is a practical procedure that is critical for patients in the context of emergency. Accurately identify the cricothyroid membrane takes a crucial part in determining the success of cricothyroidotomy. However, it is not that easy for clinicians when facing patients with different conditions that limit the palpation accuracy. Obesity is a risk factor for the failure of cricothyroidotomy. Special care is needed for obese patients. We herein build a mathematic model to explain why it is hard for obese patients to be palpated, and we also give recommendations based on the model on how to increase the rate of the palpation accuracy.



Cricothyroid Membrane, Obesity, Cricothyroidotomy, Emergency, Mathematic Model

Supporting Agencies

This work is supported by the National Natural Scientific Foundation of China (NSFC, 30901397, 81271242); Nanjing Medical University Grant for Science & Technology Development (08NMUZ033); Nanjing Municipal Young Scientist Grant (201208009); and Nanjing Municipal Developmental Key Grant of Medical Science (ZKX10018).

1. Aslani A, Ng SC, Hurley M, McCarthy KF, McNicholas M, McCaul CL. Brief report: accuracy of identification of the cricothyroid membrane in female subjects using palpation: an observational study. Anesth Analg 2012; 114: 987-92.

2. Elliott DS, Baker PA, Scott MR, Birch CW, Thompson JM. Accuracy of surface landmark identification for cannula cricothyroidotomy. Anaesthesia 2010; 65: 889-94.

3. Takasaki H, Hall T, Kaneko S, Ikemoto Y, Jull G. A radiographic analysis of the influence of initial neck posture on cervical segmental movement at end-range extension in asymptomatic subjects. Man Ther 2011; 16: 74-9.

4. Ben-Noun L, Sohar E, Laor A. Neck circumference as a simple screening measure for identifying overweight and obese patients. Obes Res 2001; 9: 470-7.
How to Cite
Wang, F. (2013). Accuracy of Palpation for Cricothyroidotomy. Science Insights, 1(3), 30–31. https://doi.org/10.15354/si.13.pe002