Airways in the ED and on Twitter

This post is on two things that have irritated me recently. I’m reposting it from the FOAMcc G+ Community page.

There has been a discussion on Twitter running the past 2 days about whether an emergency physician or an anaesthetist is the best person to take the airway in the ED.

This is stupid for a couple reasons IMO.

(1) we need to move away from thinking of skill sets as specialty, or even profession, specific – if someone is adequately trained for the task, they can do it. If Rich Levitan is the emergency physician on, he is the best guy. If Rick Dutton is the gas man on, he is the best guy. If they’re both on – we have a dilemma that doesn’t really matter.

(2) Twitter really sucks for any type of meaningful discussion or debate as +EMCrit recently pointed out on his podcast. Twitter is great for sharing links, quick reminders and pithy comments. However, it is too bite sized and open to misinterpretation to dig deep into an issue. If you really want to sort something out, write a blogpost, skype, google hangout – or heck, why not start a discussion on the FOAMcc G+ community page. Then you won’t waste days of your life being misunderstood.

Head over to the FOAMcc G+ Community page to continue the discussion! (where there are over 60 comments…)

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  1. says

    Great Post Chris…I agree completely…..There are such barriers especially in my country that must be overcome (many people think that Anaesthesist is good just for the airway and reanimatory emergencies and not for general emergencies and Viceversa about ED physicians), but in my opinion as you told is all a matter of training and experience!!!!…..Furthermore Twitter is for sure not the right place to discuss this important topic…..we have a great tool: G+ (is possible to have even a face to face debate!!!!); why not using it!!!!!….

  2. says

    Totally agree with Chris, and Valerio about this ridiculous situation in Italy. I am not an anaesthetist, even not formally a specialist in emergency medicine (first post-graduated in emergency medicine will come through next June in Italy) but as I worked in ED, ambulance and helicopter for almost 18 years managing every kind of airway I’m for sure more qualified than an anaesthetist that worked in OR for all his life, dealing just with conventional airways in conventional situations. At the same time I have great anaesthetist collegues working with me in prehospital who are perfectly qualified too. It is not a matter of what you are but of what you do. Training, experience and culture.

  3. Seth Trueger says

    I think Twitter is a challenging but not useless medium for debate. Might even be helpful in forcing concise arguments…