We’ve just finished another ‘Critically Ill Airway’ course at The Alfred ICU, so now seems a good time to say what it all about.
The course targets doctors from all critical care specialties (ICU, EM, anaesthesia, retrieval and remote practitioners) who need to be able to provide airway management for critically ill patients. It is limited to 24 participants, who go through 12 (!) immersive simulations over 2 days as well as numerous skill stations covering all the essential basic and advanced airway procedures required in critical care. It meets CICM training requirements for a difficult airway course, as well as ANZCA requirements for CICO training, and can be credited as CPD by all relevant Australasian colleges.
There were 25 faculty involved this time around (more than the number of course participants!) including VIP recruits such as Brent May (@docbrent), Tim Leeuwenberg (@KangarooBeach), Andy Buck (@etmcourse), Stuart Marshall (@hypoxicchicken) and Tom Flett, as well as numerous Alfred ICU intensivists with the support of fellows and registrars from the ICU and Anaesthesia departments. External advisors for the course include Rich Levitan (@airwaycam), Reuben Strayer (@emupdates) and Scott Weingart (@emcrit).
So, why does this course exist?
Here is my rationale:
I believe that airway management of critically ill patients, particularly outside of the operating theatre, is uniquely challenging. A crisis requiring airway intervention is usually a pivotal moment in a person’s life – or death. On the one hand, these patients have immediate life threats from their underlying illness. On the other, airway interventions (and the medications we use to facilitate them), though potentially life-saving, are inherently hazardous and can upset the subtle compensatory mechanisms that keep the patient alive. Thus the decision to intervene must not be taken lightly, the patient is on a knife edge.
Airway management of the critically ill is more than just the challenge of overcoming deranged physiology and the technical demands of individual airway skills. We need to have the cognitive skills to make the right decisions at the right time, in particular to know our limits and call for help appropriately. Furthermore, airway management is a team sport, demanding effective leadership, communication and interpersonal skills beyond mere technical expertise.
This course aims to address all of these demands – understanding critical illness, improving technical skills, making effective decisions and developing the necessary non-technical skills. We will do this through interactive face-to-face teaching sessions with high faculty-to-participant ratios, with an emphasis on ‘hands on’ skill stations and immersive simulations. We are committed to providing a safe environment for learning and require you to sign our confidentiality agreement prior to attending the simulations. In addition, the course is supported by online resources (http://alfredicumoodle.org.au), including access to airway entries in the continually updated Critical Care Compendium on Lifeinthefastlane.com and recommended free-to-access pre-course online videos.
Ultimately, regardless of your speciality, this course is just another step on your journey to becoming ‘expert enough’ in airway management of critically ill patients. You will be challenged and you will have fun.
The course is held twice a year in Melbourne, with the next one coming on February 8th and 9th 2016.
Spots are currently available The February course is sold out, but registration for the September 26th and 27th 2016 course is opening soon now open, so if you are willing to take up the challenge that this course presents, want to become a better doctor and improve the care of your sickest patients, register for the course via the Alfred ICU courses webpage before time runs out!