Needle cricothyrotomy is a safe, relatively easy procedure and has been described to enable pulmonary ventilation for patients in both elective and emergency situations. Conventional IV cannulae are short, thinwalled, and easily kinked and, therefore, do not provide a secure system to jet oxygen into the trachea. The vessel dilators of most 7- 9 French introducer kits are firm, pliable, resist kinking, and can be passed easily into the tracheal lumen. We describe our experience with the use of vessel dilator cricothyrotomy to oxygenate and ventilate the lungs of patients in emergency and elective situations. © 1989 Canadian Anesthesiologists.