The safe and successful performance of a cricothyroidotomy demands a working and yet specific knowledge of anatomy. An ignorance or misunderstanding of anatomy may result in failure or complications. The Educational Affairs Committee of the American Association of Clinical Anatomists has highlighted the importance of clinical anatomy for several invasive procedures. This review is building on their work and contribute further to the understanding of the anatomical framework, particularly the pitfalls and complications related to performing a cricothyroidotomy. Clin. Anat. 17:478–486, 2004. © 2004 Wiley-Liss, Inc.