Trauma University – Part 4: Emergency Tracheostomy


TracheostomyAre you a doomsday survivalist preparing for Armageddon, and you are concerned that one of your compatriots may take a bullet or shrapnel to the face, or sustain a severe burn to the head, thus developing obstruction of the upper airway? Or perhaps you frequently dine in restaurants, and you fear that one of your fellow diners may choke on a piece of steak that cannot be dislodged with the Heimlich maneuver? Would you know what to do?


If you watch enough movies or TV, you probably do know what to do. You get a sharp knife, pour some vodka on the blade, cut a hole in the base of the neck, and slip a drinking straw or the outer shell of a Bic pen into the trachea. Right? That’s the basic idea, but there are a few details you might want to know, and I can think of no better source for a demonstration of emergency tracheostomy than the Desert Preppers. If anyone is fully prepared for Armegeddon, or someone choking on a piece of meat, it’s these guys. 





Now let’s take a look at an ethereal animation of how a tracheostomy is performed.



Why is all this surgical stuff on an author website? I’m not really trying to teach you how to do an emergency tracheostomy (although it’s not a bad idea to understand the basic technique). What I am trying to do is reach out to those of you who have a morbid fascination with topics of medical and surgical interest and introduce you to my writing style. If you find this and the other Trauma University blog posts fascinating, you will probably be interested in my stories. My short story The Final Push is the first piece of fiction I wrote and has served as a precursor for everything I’ve written since. The style is similar to what you will find in the McBride trilogy of novels—The Organ Takers, The Organ Growers, and The Organ Killers—so if you like The Final Push, you’ll like the McBride trilogy. 


For more surgical terminology, jargon, and instrumentation, go here.


To learn more about The Final Push and to read an excerpt, go here.   


To learn more about The Organ Takers and to read an excerpt, go here.



And if, by chance, you’ve ever performed an emergency tracheostomy, I’d love to hear about it.


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