What is DIY tracheotomy?

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What is DIY tracheotomy?

Tracheotomy is a surgical procedure that involves creating an incision on the trachea through the neck.  This procedure is typically done for conditions that require people or patients to breathe from an external device through the neck.  In the case of trauma or tumors in the neck area for example, some people may need a tracheotomy in order to breathe properly.  In the real-world and common setting though, a tracheotomy may be necessary in emergency situations.  This type of procedure is often referred to as DIY or do-it-yourself tracheotomy.  This is commonly done during a choking accident when all other means of dislodging the causative material from the mouth or oral passage.

In the case of food choking accidents, the first aid or management would involve slapping the upper back of the victim.  Some people may also employ the Heimlich maneuver wherein an upward thrust in the stomach area is applied to help dislodge the food item that is stuck somewhere in the oral passage or neck area.  This stomach thrust may also be accompanied with slapping on the upper back or shoulders.  When all these techniques fail, a DIY tracheotomy may be necessary.  With the complexities of this procedure, only medical experts or emergency technicians may be able to attempt DIY tracheotomy.

In DIY tracheotomy, the incision is made somewhere between the person’s Adams apple and the cricoid cartilage.  The incision may be made using a small knife or razor depending on what’s available.  At least half an inch is needed in order for a finger or small tube to pass through the incision area.  Once the incision is made, one may now insert a tube and breathe into it as needed.  During the procedure, one just needs to check if the chest level is rising along with the tube breathing to ensure that air is flowing to the victim’s lungs.  For health and medical reasons, DIY tracheotomy should only be done by people who are equipped to do so.

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