This blog post is a companion piece to our core content piece on tracheostomy emergencies published earlier this week.
Like many horror stories this one began on one of my first shifts as a newly minted community doc. It was 11:00 pm and the only services in house at this hour are Emergency Medicine and Internal Medicine. I received a call from the charge nurse saying “There is a women here with a tube in her neck and she is not breathing very well”. I quickly explained to my patient with chief complaint of ear wax that I would have to come back.
I ran to the critical care room and what I saw in front of me was a morbidly obese female with a tracheostomy in place, hyperventilating and mouthing “I cant breathe”.
As I soiled myself a few thoughts raced into my head “Where is ENT?