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

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In modern and asymmetric conflicts, traumatic airway ob-struction caused by penetrating injury to the face and neck anatomy is the second leading cause of preventable mortal-ity. 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 cri-cothyrotomy, 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
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • Tactical Combat Casualty Care
  • air-way
  • cricothyrotomy
  • mass casualties
  • medical evacuation


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