BMJ Case Reports 2016; doi:10.1136/bcr-2016-215761

Airway compromising an airway

  1. Richard Oakley2
  1. 1Department of Otolaryngology and Head and Neck Surgery, Royal National Throat, Nose and Ear Hospital, London, UK
  2. 2Department of Otolaryngology and Head and Neck Surgery, Guy's and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust, London, UK
  1. Correspondence to Andrew Wesley Hoey, andrew.hoey{at}
  • Accepted 16 June 2016
  • Published 5 July 2016


There are several tracheostomy tube types that can be used by patients who present to the emergency department with temporary or long-term artificial airways. While specific knowledge of each type may not be required, it is important for the emergency physician to be aware of their general structure and the complications that can arise from them. Modern tracheostomy tubes tend to be made of plastic, but some older tubes—such as the silver Negus—can be made of metal. These tubes are particularly popular with older long-term tracheostomy patients. However, due to their cost and relative scarcity, these tubes tend to be used …

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