A can’t intubate, can’t oxygenate (CICO) event is one of the most dreadful medical emergencies. This life-threatening situation commonly occurs in emergency rooms and ICUs as a result of failed airway management. CICO events can be fatal if not managed quickly and correctly, as they can lead to death or brain damage due to a lack of oxygen.

What Is an Emergency Front of Neck Airway?

An emergency front-of-neck airway (FONA) is the procedure used for managing “cannot intubate cannot oxygenate” emergencies when they occur. ENT surgeons and anesthetists have to work together to put a tube in the trachea through the neck of the patient’s airways. Front-of-neck airway technique, good team communication, the right timing, and proper equipment are critical to the success of this procedure in the event of life-threatening breathing problems.

Image of a female doctor and her team in an operating room
Image of a doctor putting on gloves in the operating room

Techniques for Emergency Front‐of‐Neck Airway Procedures

The term Cricothyroidotomy describes the process of placing a tube in the trachea (windpipe) of a person just below the patient’s Adam’s apple. This can be done through a wide range of techniques for airway management by ENT surgeons or anesthetics. The ‘scalpel-bougie technique’ involves using a scalpel and a small guide bougie to pass the airway tube into the patient’s trachea. Other techniques, such as tracheostomy, are preferred by some clinicians.

How Vie Scope® Is Used for Airway Management by ENT Surgeons

The Vie Scope® is designed to give ENT surgeons a direct view of the patient’s vocal cords but is still narrow enough to pass through the mouth. The scope is inserted directly into the mouth to the vocal cords. The surgeon then uses a straight line of sight to pass the bougie to the appropriate distance in between the vocal cord. The Vie Scope® can then be removed and an endotracheal tube is passed over the bougie into the patient’s trachea to the appropriate depth, after which the bougie is removed.

The Vie Scope® by Adroit Surgical is valuable equipment that may serve as an alternative to emergency front‐of‐neck airway access by ENT Surgeons. This device gives the surgeon a ‘straight line of sight’ directly to the vocal cords with no tissue obstructing the view. Using this device can improve the chances of success quite significantly for cases where intubation isn’t possible. To learn more, contact Adroit Surgical and request a free demo.