Without evidence of benefit, an intervention should not be presumed to be beneficial or safe.

- Rogue Medic

Airway Instruction – Episode 171 of the EMS EduCast

 

We want to be permitted to intubate.

True.

We don’t want to have to practice.

Sadly, that also appears to be true.

Fortunately for those of us who hate to practice, it is difficult to get paramedics time in the OR to practice on live people.

Not true.

Listen to Bill Toon, PhD/Paramedic explain how he was able to set up a system for all of the paramedics to rotate through the OR (Operating Room) to obtain practice and continuing education on real people.
 

Go listen to the podcast.
 


Image credit.
 

Bill Toon, Greg Friese, Rob Theriault, and David Blevins discuss ways of improving airway skills.
 

What if we do not work in a system that is set up like Johnson County Med-Act? Are we out of luck?

No, but we just have to work a bit harder to be good. Bill Toon did not accomplish this overnight, so do not despair that you do not have something already. Get to work on setting one up. It will take time, initiative, and the ability to ignore the people who say it cannot be done.

I would be surprised if Bill did not know some people who know some of the anesthesiologists where you would be trying to set this up. Talking to people who have done this and not been visited by plagues of blood, frogs, locusts, others, and the deaths of their firstborn might help to get them to at least consider trying this.

Do not expect things to happen immediately. That is one of the important lessons bill discusses in airway management.

Slow down!

Work on the skill and ignore the speed. After we have developed skill, then we can work on speed.

Speed without skill is dangerous, but that is the way many of us have been taught.

Panic about the amount of time it might take.

Hold your breath, and when you need to take a breath you may be too hypoxic to remember what you were doing.

Talk to a martial artist. They work on the skill first, then the speed.

Talk to someone who races motorcycles. They work on riding smoothly, then add the speed.
 

Even if you cannot set up a similar OR program, we can practice on mannequins, but most of us seem to lack the imagination and the understanding to put in the thousands of mannequin intubations that we should.

There are some excellent references provided as well.
 

Airway World The only virtual knowledge and collaboration center dedicated to airway management.

Airway Cam: Practical Solutions for Emergency Airways

Johnson County Med-Act

The Power of Video Recording from JAMA

 

Go listen to the podcast.
 

.

Comments

  1. This is also a consideration. Contact a local mortuary and see if you can arrange to come intubate on a recently deceased person. This allows for two things:

    If your group is small enough everyone will get at least one tube in and on a recently deceased it is somewhat similar to a patient in full cardiac arrest.

    It never hurts to try and ask. Maintaining airway skills is very critical.

  2. I would be happy if EMS people could get into the OR just to practice ventilating with a BVM. It is so hard to do well, and mannequins are not realistic.

    http://emspatientperspective.com/2013/05/15/a-musicians-approach-to-airway-management/

Speak Your Mind