Routine surgery requires artificial breathing through the placement of a plastic tube into
the patient's windpipe via mouth or nose. This tube serves as the source of providing oxygen
to the patients during surgery. Difficulties during insertion of this tube may lead to
serious complications and during this life-threatening crisis the only way to provide oxygen
to the patient is by the help of a procedure called cricothyrotomy (CTY).
CTY is a life saving procedure that involves an incision on the patient neck at a very
precise location called Cricothyroid Membrane (CTM). The current method of identifying this
location is by palpation of neck cartilages by the operator. The incorrect identification of
the CTM could lead to many complications. In certain patients such as obese or distorted neck
features the identification of CTM would be difficult. Ultrasound (US) has improved the
success rate of many anesthesia procedures .Its use has been described for identification of
neck structures; however, this technique of localization has not been validated against the
gold standard which is the use of CT scan. The purpose of our study is to determine the
precision of identifying the CTM using the US versus the conventional finger palpation when
compared to the gold standard.