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This content is taken from the UCL (University College London) & University College London Hospitals's online course, Airway Matters. Join the course to learn more.

Skip to 0 minutes and 6 secondsWelcome to Airway Matters. My name is Emilie Hoogenboom and I am a consultant anaesthetist at UCLH. I have an interest in airway management training and education. And I'm Kevin Fong, and I'm a consultant anaesthetist at UCLH. I have an interest in safety, risk management, human factors, and prehospital medicine. We're delighted that so many of you have joined us on our course. Together with our colleagues at UCLH and beyond, we are looking forward to exploring with you matters surrounding airway management with a particular focus on safe and holistic care for our patients and multidisciplinary teamwork.

Skip to 0 minutes and 46 secondsOver the next five weeks, you'll be reading articles, watching videos and other media, and learning from patients, frontline clinicians, and world renowned experts about what makes airway management safer. There'll be opportunities to take part in interactive learning activities, including discussions, polls, and quizzes which we hope you'll get involved with. And the discussions will be supported by us, so they're a good platform for asking any questions you might have. Our first week will be split into three parts. The first being about airway management safety. We'll hear from frontline clinicians and experts in the field about what safe airway management means to them.

Skip to 1 minute and 25 secondsWe'll then be joined by Professor Tim Cook, co-editor of the National Audit Project 4 report, who will give us a summary of this milestone study. The second part will focus on the role of human factors and ergonomics in airway management. Doctor Fiona Kelly, a human factors expert, will help us review the tragic case of Elaine Bromiley, a 37-year-old woman attending hospital for what was supposed to be a routine operation on her nasal air passages who suffered catastrophic brain damage after unexpected airway complications occurred at the start of the procedure.

Skip to 1 minute and 59 secondsDoctor Kelly will take us through some key principles and terminology, and this will be followed by a panel discussion where I'll be joined by several other experts and where we'll share our top tips for improving human factors and ergonomics working in airway management. And finally, at the end of the week, we will take a journey through the airways, offering an overview of the airway's anatomy. We are looking to this journey and we hope you are too.

Welcome to Airway Matters!

We, the course team, are delighted that you have joined our course! We are looking forward to exploring with you all matters surrounding safe airway management.

Over the next five weeks we will take you on a journey to help you develop an understanding of some of the key aspects that contribute to safety in airway management, and learn how you can make a difference in the care of your patients.

Each week, you will have the opportunity to read articles about relevant topics, listen to interviews and presentations with our expert faculty, take part in activities, and most importantly hear from patients about their experiences.

Five weeks, five themes

This Week we will introduce key safety aspects, review The 4th National Audit Project (NAP4), a milestone report on airway management in the UK, learn about human factors and ergonomics and study the anatomy of the airways. We will review some key aspects and recommendations in a new section on airway management in patients with COVID-19.

In Week 2 we will expand on the idea that safe airway management starts with a thorough airway assessment and careful planning. We’ll look at a range of airway equipment and finally, learn how to manage the “Can’t Intubate, Can’t Oxygenate” situation that we all dread.

In Week 3 we will outline how to approach the obstructed airway, and then look at an array of special airway techniques, Awake Tracheal Intubation, High Flow Nasal Oxygenation and Jet Ventilation.

In Week 4 we will turn our attention to the multidisciplinary management of shared airways, focusing on the importance of including the patient in the decision-making process, and the role of teamwork when managing complex cases. We will start exploring some special patient circumstances: the critically ill and patients with tracheostomies.

In Week 5 we will examine some more particular patient groups: children, pregnant women and the obese. We’ll then look at airway management from a global perspective, discussing which safety measures can be applied in all contexts. We will finally reflect on learning from airway management events.

Monitoring your progress through the course

Once you are ready to move on from a step, click ‘Mark as complete’ below, then move onto the next step. As you work through the course you can monitor your progress by selecting Progress at the top of the page.

Learning from each other

We are looking forward to reading many contributions from learners from across the globe, adding a wealth of insight and knowledge!

The comments area of each step will be a valuable place for you to share your experiences, ask and answer questions, so that we all learn from each other as well as from the content in the course.

If you have already begun to contribute, other learners may have replied to you. You will receive notifications of any new ‘Replies’ in the top right of the page. You can ‘like’ comments if you agree with what’s been said or if you have found something particularly interesting. You can also filter the comments by ‘Most liked’, and ‘Follow’ those individuals who are of particular interest to you.

Don’t forget you can also contribute to the discussion using Twitter, with the hashtag #AirwayMatters and Facebook @AirwayMattersUCL. We will be checking the posts and feed for this hashtag regularly throughout the course, and you may wish to do the same.

Consent has been obtained from all patients in the videos and pictures. Cases in articles and quizzes are fictitious. In the course we refer to several cases related to patients, their families, colleagues and the hospital they were working. Please treat this information with respect. As this is a public open forum, please be considerate of patient confidentiality and data protection.

This course has been endorsed by the Royal College of Anaesthetists, the Difficult Airway Society (DAS), the European Airway Management Society and the Society for Obesity and Bariatric Anaesthesia and is promoted by the College of Operating Department Practitioners.

You can now move on to meet the team who created this course and will be mentoring the course discussions.

Please note that all the educators on this course are frontline NHS clinicians heavily involved in the response to the COVID-19 pandemic. We regret that we will not be able to offer the same level of course facilitation as we would in normal circumstances. We have nonetheless decided to run the course and we hope that some of the resources may prove useful for many learners during this particular crisis.

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This video is from the free online course:

Airway Matters

UCL (University College London)