Operational Consideration for Definitive Airway Management in the Austere Setting: A Case Report

Jean Baptiste Morvan, Jean Cotte, Marc Danguy des Deserts, Tamara Worlton, William Menini, Olivier Cathelinaud, Pierre Pasquier

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In modern and asymmetric conflicts, traumatic airway obstruction caused by penetrating injury to the face and neck anatomy is the second leading cause of preventable mortality. Definitive airway management in the emergency setting is most commonly accomplished by endotracheal intubation. When this fails or is not possible, a surgical airway, usually cricothyrotomy, is indicated. The clinical choice for establishing a definitive airway in the austere setting is impacted by operational factors such as a mass casualty incident or availability and type of casualty evacuation. This is a case report of a patient with severe cervicofacial injuries with imminent airway compromise in the setting of a mass casualty incident, without possibility of sedation and mechanical ventilation during his evacuation. The authors seek to highlight the considerations and lessons learned for emergency cricothyrotomy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)90-93
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of special operations medicine : a peer reviewed journal for SOF medical professionals
Issue number3
StatePublished - 19 Sep 2022


  • Tactical Combat Casualty Care
  • airway
  • cricothyrotomy
  • mass casualties
  • medical evacuation


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