A comparison of two open surgical cricothyroidotomy techniques by military medics using a cadaver model

Robert L. Mabry, Matthew C. Nichols, Drew C. Shiner, Scotty Bolleter, Alan Frankfurt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Study objective The CricKey is a novel surgical cricothyroidotomy device combining the functions of a tracheal hook, stylet, dilator, and bougie incorporated with a Melker airway cannula. This study compares surgical cricothyroidotomy with standard open surgical versus CricKey technique. Methods This was a prospective crossover study using human cadaveric models. Participants included US Army combat medics credentialed at the emergency medical technician-basic level. After a brief anatomy review and demonstration, participants performed in random order standard open surgical cricothyroidotomy and CricKey surgical cricothyroidotomy. The primary outcome was first-pass success, and the secondary outcome measure was procedural time. Results First-attempt success was 100% (15/15) for CricKey surgical cricothyroidotomy and 66% (10/15) for open surgical cricothyroidotomy (odds ratio 16.0; 95% confidence interval 0.8 to 326). Surgical cricothyroidotomy insertion was faster for CricKey than open technique (34 versus 65 seconds; median time difference 28 seconds; 95% confidence interval 16 to 48 seconds). Conclusion Compared with the standard open surgical cricothyroidotomy technique, military medics demonstrated faster insertion with the CricKey. First-pass success was not significantly different between the techniques.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-5
Number of pages5
JournalAnnals of emergency medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Emergency Medicine


Dive into the research topics of 'A comparison of two open surgical cricothyroidotomy techniques by military medics using a cadaver model'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this