The head and neck, as an anatomical cross roads of multiple functions critical to human well being, including respiration, digestion, sensation, communication, and aesthetics, presents disorders that acutely threaten these vital systems. As with any emergency situation, information devoted to the priorities of management: airway, breathing, circulation, and disability are presented for otolaryngic emergencies that may manifest at each of these levels in the form of acute airway obstruction, epistaxis, and the gamut of traumatic, infectious, and inflammatory disorders that affect special sensation, neurologic function, and cosmesis. Discussed in this issue is the use of modalities such as endoscopy, optics, and radiologic imaging as a means to earlier diagnosis, detailed anatomic assessment, and minimally invasive surgery used in the emergency setting. This text strives to keep practitioners at the forefront in the management of ENT emergencies. Experts in otolaryngology describe those conditions that require urgent evaluation and treatment but are also relatively common. Where evidence-based medicine is lacking, comprehensive reviews of the controversies are presented along with logical treatment algorithms based on clinical expertise. This issue of Otolaryngologic Clinics should be highly relevant to the otolaryngologist as well as the general practitioner and emergency physician.