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Welcome to Week 2

Introduction to Week 2
Welcome to week two of our Airway Matters. In our second week, we’ll be expanding on the notion that safe airway management starts with a thorough airway assessment and planning. We’ll look at a range of airway equipment, and finally learn how to devise an appropriate strategy and manage the can’t intubate, can’t oxygenate situation that we all dread. As we heard last week, NAP4 found that airway assessment and planning were often deficient. Either the airway hadn’t been assessed, or there was a failure to plan for failure, or to select the most appropriate piece of equipment to deal with a potentially difficult airway. This week, we will start by considering how we assess the airway, including the role of ultrasound.
Then, we learn how we can use our findings to develop a sound airway strategy. We take a closer look at airway equipment and highlight how human factors and ergonomics are applied to the design of airway trolleys. We then review two commonly used pieces of airway equipment, the video laryngoscope and the supraglottic airway device. But what happens when things don’t go according to plan? How can guidelines, algorithms, and cognitive aids help us to develop a plan for failure? We’ll look in more depth at the role of cognitive aids in improving human factors and ergonomics. Professor Chris Frerk will take us through the Difficult Airway Society Guidelines for unanticipated difficult intubation. And Dr.
Nicholas Chrimes from Melbourne, Australia, will outline the principles of the vortex approach. When all other techniques fail, and can’t intubate, can’t oxygenate scenarios ensue, the vortex approach and the Difficult Airway Society Guidelines, both culminate in an attempted rescue with emergency front of neck access. In the final part of this week, we’ll explore the experiences of health care professionals in performing front of neck access, and we’d like to hear about your experiences, too. So we hope you enjoy week two.

Welcome to Week 2 of Airway Matters!

This week, we will start by looking in detail at the process of airway assessment, planning and preparation in order to devise an appropriate airway management strategy.

We will then review a range of airway equipment, including Videolaryngoscopes and Supraglottic Airways, and consider how Human Factors and Ergonomics help us organise our equipment on the Airway Trolley.

We will explore the role of algorithms such as the DAS Difficult Intubation 2015 Guidelines and cognitive aids such as the Vortex Approach, and consider how to be best prepared for the “Can’t Intubate, Can’t Oxygenate” situation that we all dread.

We will hear from clinicians who have performed and witnessed an emergency Front of Neck Airway and discuss what can help in being successful at this technique.

At the end of Week 1, we learnt about Airway Anatomy – so let’s start this week by building on this knowledge and learn how to perform a thorough airway assessment, that forms the basis for developing a safe airway management strategy.

We hope that you enjoy Week 2!

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Airway Matters

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