A NEXTGEN LEARNING SPACE DESIGNED TO ELEVATE YOUR AIRWAY PRACTICE
what are those lumps
What am I feeling?. Am I in the right place? Can I be confident that I’m not going to injure something important?
These are the practical questions you will ask yourself as you pick up that scalpel, and if you can’t answer them, then you might be inclined to delay or worse not perform FONA at all.
Don’t do that. Instead, get comfortable with ONLY the clinically relevant anatomy, and use the expert tips here to assure yourself you’re in the right place. Getting started on the next leg of your journey to cultivate a FEARLESS FONA MINDSET is as easy as scrolling down.
External Landmarks simplified
This is as easy as it gets. Extend the neck. Now feel for the biggest lump in the middle (that’s the thyroid cartilage). Now feel the hard ring below it (that’s the cricoid cartilage). Now feel the soft bouncy part in between them? That’s your target. The cricothyroid membrane.
Honestly there is no reason to make it any more complicated. If you want a deeper dive the anatomy the video below is our favorite. Just remember, it’s not helpful to clutter your thinking with
Deep dive the anatomy
This video by Andy Neill MD is a great deep dive on the clinically relevant anatomy for performing a cricothyroidotomy if you’re interested.. The key take home points? Most of the anatomy in the area is NOT RELEVANT so don’t worry about it. Second, if you identify the CTM and stay midline it’s very hard to cause serious injury so again DON’T WORRY.
KEY TAKE HOME POINTS
- Stay midline and stay out of trouble
- Bleeding is expected so don’t worry
- Posterior cartilage is a backstop so you can’t go too deep
No discussion of anatomy would be complete without the greatest performance of FONA anatomy palpation of all time. Truly a GOAT!. Follow the @sangrialovingairwaydoc for a another great social network learning builder.