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  • University College London Hospitals (NHS Foundation Trust) logo
  • Air Ambulance Charity Kent Surrey Sussex (KSS) logo

Airway Matters

Explore key concepts underlying safe airway management and improve the multidisciplinary response to an airway crisis.

40,699 enrolled on this course


Airway Matters

40,699 enrolled on this course

  • 6 weeks

  • 4 hours per week

  • Digital certificate when eligible

  • Intermediate level

Find out more about how to join this course

Develop safe airway management strategies for your patients

The safe management of a patient’s airway is one of the most challenging and complex tasks undertaken by a health professional in both hospital and pre-hospital settings - complications can result in devastating outcomes.

On this six-week course, you’ll learn how to improve safety, prevent complications and be prepared to manage difficulties in airway management. You’ll also discover techniques that can be applied to a number of hospital and pre-hospital settings.

Understand airway assessment and safety

You’ll start this course by discussing the meaning of safe airway management. Then, you’ll explore how to assess an airway and what kind of equipment to use in elective and emergency airway management.

In difficult or stressful situations, guidelines and cognitive aids can help with decision-making and human factors, so you’ll also take a look at some key examples.

You’ll also discuss the importance of involving patients in decision-making and how to develop safe strategies for more complex cases.

Explore airway management in specific scenarios

Airway management differs between children and adults, while factors such as pregnancy, obesity, or having a tracheostomy demand we adapt our techniques.

You will explore how airway management follows different practices around the globe, from high resource to low resource settings.

Discover the challenges and standards of pre-hospital airway management

In the pre-hospital setting, airway management presents its own challenges. You’ll be guided through governance, safety, and demonstrations of pre-hospital airway management techniques by the Air Ambulance Charity Kent Surrey Sussex.

You’ll cover topics ranging from pre-hospital anaesthesia and Rapid Sequence Induction to pre-oxygenation techniques and intra-arrest airway management.

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Skip to 0 minutes and 6 seconds Hello, my name is Kevin Fong. I’m a consultant anaesthetist at UCLH, and I’ve got a special interest in safety, risk management, human factors, and pre-hospital medicine. Hi, my name is Emilie Hoogenboom. I’m an anaesthetist at UCLH. I have a particular interest in airway management, training, and education. At its most basic level, the purpose of airway management is to make sure that sufficient oxygen is circulating in the patient’s blood and carbon dioxide cleared from the body, whilst the lungs are protected from harmful swelling. Plans and techniques need to be tailored to the patient’s needs and the clinical circumstances.

Skip to 0 minutes and 46 seconds These range from basic airway opening manoeuvres and the application of oxygen via nasal conduit to more complex intervention such as awake fiberoptic intubation, and jet ventilation Ensuring safety is paramount during all of these procedures. The skills and training are relevant across multiple medical and nursing specialties. This course is for the whole multidisciplinary team. How can we make airway management safer, and how can we prevent and prepare to manage difficulties? How in a crisis can we ensure that all the human and technical resources are properly used, and how can we maximise the chance that we save patients’ lives? To answer these questions together, over the course of five weeks we’ll learn from patients, front-line clinicians, and leading experts in the field.

Skip to 1 minute and 35 seconds We’ll explore with you matters surrounding airway management, with a particular focus on safe and holistic care for our patients. We’ll also take part in a global discussion, and offer high quality practical advice, as well as exciting state of the art evidence-based resources. We’ll explore how to improve patient safety we need to consider human factors and ergonomics, and along side safety during these course we focus on the multidisciplinary aspects of teamwork occurring during airway management. This course is intended to help you provide a safe airway management strategy- a series of steps which you can use to respond to the clinical situation, and explore practical ways to be prepared to deal with unanticipated difficulties such as can’t intubate and can’t oxygenate scenarios.

Skip to 2 minutes and 27 seconds If you’re a health care professional looking to improve safety and make a real difference in patient outcomes and their overall experience, please join us by enrolling in this free course today.

What topics will you cover?

This course has been carefully designed to provide an up-to-date and practical educational experience, with learners accessing comprehensive course materials developed in collaboration with leading experts, frontline clinicians, and patients.

Week 1: Safe Airway Management, Human Factors and Ergonomics, Airway Anatomy

  • Airway Safety: The Big Picture
  • NAP4, Key Findings and Recommendations
  • Human Factors and Ergonomics
  • Capnography
  • Anatomy: a Journey Through the Airways

Week 2: Airway Assessment and Planning, Cognitive Tools, Dealing with Emergencies

  • Assess the Airway and Develop a Strategy
  • Airway Equipment
  • Cognitive Tools
  • Can’t Intubate, Can’t Oxygenate

Week 3: Safety and Special Techniques

  • Rapid Sequence Induction
  • Extubation
  • The Obstructed Airway
  • Special Techniques: Awake Tracheal Intubation, High-Flow Nasal Oxygenation, Jet Ventilation, LASER

Week 4: The Shared Airways

  • The Patient Journey
  • Tracheostomies and Laryngectomies
  • The Critically Ill Patient
  • Airway Management in the Patient with COVID-19

Week 5: Airway Management in Special Circumstances

  • Paediatrics
  • Obstetrics
  • Obesity
  • A Global Perspective

Week 6: Pre-Hospital Airway Matters

  • Challenges and Standards
  • Drugs and Equipment
  • Safety
  • Pre-hospital Airway Management & COVID 19

When would you like to start?

Start straight away and join a global classroom of learners. If the course hasn’t started yet you’ll see the future date listed below.

  • Available now

Learning on this course

On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • Improve your strategies to deal with the unexpected difficult airway and explore guidelines to use in special circumstances.
  • Identify the key learning points and recommendations from the 4th National Audit Project (NAP4) on major complications of airway management in the UK.
  • Apply the principles of multidisciplinary planning, communication and teamwork in shared airways interventions.
  • Describe the technical and non-technical aspects of safe airway management for patients undergoing elective or emergency surgery, and the critically ill.
  • Engage in a global discussion on airway matters with health professionals from around the world.
  • Explore challenges and safe practices in managing airways in the pre-hospital setting.

Who is the course for?

This course, endorsed by the Royal College of Anaesthetists and the Difficult Airway Society, is for all members of the multidisciplinary team who provide airway support to patients or care for patients with a compromised airway. This includes anaesthetists, anaesthesia associates, operating department practitioners, prehospital and emergency medicine physicians, paramedics, nurses, physiotherapists, adult and paediatric intensivists, head and neck surgeons and members of the cardiac arrest team.

Health professionals might find the Certificate of Achievement for this course useful for providing evidence of Continuing Professional Development (CPD) or commitment to their career.

Who will you learn with?

Emilie is a consultant in anaesthesia at UCLH, and an honorary senior clinical teaching fellow at UCL, with a special interest in airway management, teaching and education.

Laura is a consultant anaesthetist at University College London Hospital, with special interests in airway management and paediatric anaesthesia.

Julian is a consultant anaesthetist at the Royal National Ear, Nose & Throat Hospital, UCLH. He is also a HEMS doctor at Kent, Surrey, Sussex Air Ambulance Charity.

Promoted by

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Who developed the course?

UCL (University College London)

UCL was founded in 1826. It was the first English university established after Oxford and Cambridge, and the first to open up university education to those previously excluded from it.

University College London Hospitals

UCLH provides first class general and specialist services to patients locally in London and from throughout the UK and abroad.

Air Ambulance Charity Kent Surrey Sussex (KSS)

Air Ambulance Charity Kent Surrey Sussex (KSS) is a world-leading charity at the forefront of Helicopter Emergency Medical Services (HEMS). KSS bring the emergency room to the scene & deliver life-saving critical care, including surgical procedures, anaesthetics & blood transfusions.

KSS comprises a highly skilled team of doctors, paramedics, dispatchers, fundraisers, marketers & support staff – driven by their purpose of saving lives & ensuring the best possible outcomes for their patients. 

Endorsers and supporters

endorsed by

Difficult Airway Society Logo

endorsed by

The Royal College of Anaesthetists logo

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Ways to learn

Choose the best way to learn for you!

Buy this course

$134/one-off payment

Fulfill your current learning need

  • Access to this course
  • Learn at your own pace
  • Discuss your learning in comments
  • Printed and digital certificate when you’re eligible

Subscribe & save

$349.99 for one year

Automatically renews

Develop skills to further your career

  • Access to this course
  • Access to 1,000+ courses
  • Learn at your own pace
  • Discuss your learning in comments
  • Digital certificate when you're eligible

Cancel for free anytime

Limited access


Sample the course materials

  • Access expires 29 Aug 2024

Find out more about certificates, Unlimited or buying a course (Upgrades)

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