Introduction: Some medical emergencies need compromised airway management as the first measure. Most of these cases are first seen by an ENT surgeon, whose proper evaluation and timely intervention can prove decisive. Knowledge of alternatives for airway management can prove life-saving, although these may require the active involvement of other specialities.
Case reports: Two patients, a 27-year-old man and a 31-year-old woman, presented in respiratory distress with cyanosis. Each had a pedunculated mass in the lower trachea above the carina, with about 90 per cent tracheal lumen obstruction. They were managed successfully with femorofemoral cardiopulmonary bypass and restoration of airway.
Conclusion: Femorofemoral cardiopulmonary bypass can be a relatively safe option which gains time for airway management in such conditions. Knowledge of this procedure among ENT surgeons can lead to timely intervention, in properly selected cases, which can save valuable time.