A brief history of tracheostomy and tracheal intubation, from the Bronze Age to the Space Age

Peter Szmuk*, Tiberiu Ezri, Shmuel Evron, Yehudah Roth, Jeffrey Katz

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

99 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objective: To present a concise history of tracheostomy and tracheal intubation for the approximately forty centuries from their earliest description around 2000 BC until the middle of the twentieth century, at which time a proliferation of advances marked the beginning of the modern era of anesthesiology. Data sources: Review of the literature. Conclusions: The colorful and checkered past of tracheostomy and tracheal intubation informs contemporary understanding of these procedures. Often, the decision whether to perform a life-saving tracheostomy or tracheal intubation has been as important as the technical ability to perform it. The dawn of modern airway management owes its existence to the historical development of increasingly effective airway devices and to regular contributions of research into the pathophysiology of the upper airway.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)222-228
Number of pages7
JournalIntensive Care Medicine
Volume34
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2008

Keywords

  • History
  • Tracheal intubation
  • Tracheostomy

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