Airway Management

This Daily Doodle represent one of my favorite Academic Half Day Seminars on Airway Management. During this seminar, we learned and practised the basics of airway management including intubation. I was so amazed by the simulation lab at the University Hospital of Northern British Columbia (UHNBC). We had many different anatomical models such as the one in this doodle that had a cross section through the side of the face to help visualize the anatomy during intubation. We even have a top of the line full-body simulation model. I can’t even begin to tell you the learning experience we had!

In this seminar, we learned the basics – ABCDE, focusing in on A and B (Airway with c-spine immobilization and Breathing).

Going back to the basics, when assessing the airway – LOOK, LISTEN and FEEL.

LOOK – Can you see an obstruction in the airway? Is the chest expanding? Note: this does not tell us that the lungs are expanding, it tells us that there is respiratory effort. Any use of accessory muscles? Tracheal tug? Signs of cyanosis… There is so much to look for!

LISTEN – Can you hear breath sounds? If you have a stethoscope, use it! Silence can equal complete construction. Is that Stridor!? Snoring? Gurgling?… This step is even more challenging in a busy ER.

FEEL – Use the back of your hand or wrist to feel if there are any breaths from the patient – a subtle challenge.

We also learned how to insert oropharyngeal and nasopharyngeal airways, LMAs, and intubation. Lots of intubation practice and even more in my anesthesia rotation.

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