There are few more terrifying scenarios in anesthesiology than an unexpectedly difficult airway. But thanks to the efforts of Drs. Elaine Boydston, Michael Lin, and other faculty members and fellows in our department, our newest residents are going to be better prepared than ever to face this inevitable challenge.
On a recent Saturday, these dedicated anesthesiologists hosted a full-day airway workshop for our CA-1 residents to teach advanced airway management techniques, including the use of:
The attendees included several of our own CA-2 and CA-3 residents, and critical care fellows from the department of pulmonary and emergency medicine. There were many more who wanted to attend, but space constraints limited the number of participants.
Drs. Boydston and Lin co-directed the workshop, which “was very well received, with enthusiastic feedback,” Dr. Boydston said. “Nearly everyone felt the workshop vastly improved their knowledge base and skills.”
The anesthesiology faculty instructors included Drs. Elaine Liew, Marisa Hernandez-Morgan, and Gundappa Neelakanta. Drs. Samuel Hong, Vikram Fielding-Singh, and Nicole Yin, who are fellows in critical care and cardiothoracic anesthesiology, helped with instruction and hands-on guidance at the various stations. Dr. Sara Crager, an emergency medicine faculty member, and Dr. Nida Qadir, a faculty member from Pulmonary and Critical Care, also served as instructors.
The comments from the residents verified the value of the workshop. As one resident said, “Really appreciate all the hard work that went into setting up this course, because as airway experts we need to be comfortable with this stuff!”
Other comments from residents:
Some residents felt that the lung isolation station and the retrograde intubation station needed more time, and that the groups at each station should be limited to four residents. Their feedback will be included in future planning.
Dr. Boydston said the hope is that the airway workshop will be repeated once or twice each year. The primary challenge, she said, is “protecting participants from clinical responsibilities.” The logistics of doing an airway workshop on a Saturday are challenging, given everyone’s busy lives and other commitments, she said, but it’s even more difficult to schedule during the week with our demanding OR case load.
“We definitely hope to repeat it again next year,” Dr. Lin said. Possible areas of future expansion include combining the workshop with training of pulmonary/critical care fellows, adding content about “physiologically difficult” intubation scenarios, offering CME, and opening the sessions to physicians from the community.