In airway management, a ``Cannot Intubate, Cannot oxygenate” emergency, or simply ``CICO” (IPA: kaɪkəʊ), is an inability to restore alveolar oxygenation by means of any non-surgical lifeline (facemask, endotracheal tube, or supraglottic airway device). With ``CICO,” hypoxic brain damage and death will result unless there is rapid resolution. The ability of an airway team member to swiftly establish an emergency Front of Neck Airway as a CICO rescue is currently deemed to be an essential skill for everyone that performs tracheal intubations. This paper presents the context, components, justification, and human factors-related ramifications of a simple rescue cricothyroidotomy technique currently favored in many institutions and commended in guidelines internationally, particularly in the context of a cognitive tool, the Vortex Approach to airway management.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)96-104
Number of pages9
JournalOperative Techniques in Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Surgery
  • Otorhinolaryngology


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