Airway management requires a lot things. It requires not only technical skills and specific considerations of anatomy and physiology but a coordinated team who can communicate clearly and react to a whole slew of potentially challenging situations. On this month’s Best Case Ever podcast we use the framework of a new mnemonic, the PREPARE mnemonic, to discuss human factors, situational awareness and some airway tips and tricks with intensivist Peter Brindley, human factors expert Chris Hicks and EM-intensivist Sara Gray

Podcast Production, Sound Design & Editing by Anton Helman, April 2017


Prepare Mnemonic for Airway Management

PREPARE mnemonic airway management


Full PDF algorithm of PREPARE created by Dr. Caroline Shooner for posting on ED or ICU walls.


The Case of Elaine Bromiley explaining human factors, situational awareness and team communication in airway management gone wrong


Pearl: Routinely locate and mark the cricothyroid membrane by Laryngeal Handshake method  prior to airway management

Watch Rich Levitan’s cricothyrotomy video HERE

PREPARE mnemonic Airway Management


General Airway poster for your ED by Dr. Caroline Shooner

Medications Airway Management

Medications for Airway Management card PDF 2017


Brindley PG, Beed M, Law JA, et al. Airway management outside the operating room: how to better prepare. Can J Anaesth. 2017;64(5):530-539. Full PDF

Shaw J, Frerk C, Russell J. A commentary on human factors aspects of cases reported to NAP 4. In: Cook TM, Woodall N, Frerk C, eds. Fourth National Audit Project of the Royal College of Anaesthetists and Difficult Airway Society. Major Complications of Airway Management in the United Kingdom. Report and Findings, Chapter 24. London: Royal College of Anaesthetists, March 2011; 193–201.

Flin R, Fioratou E, Frerk C et al. Human factors in the development of complications of airway management: preliminary evaluation of an interview tool. Anaesthesia 2013; 68: 817–25.


Other FOAMed Resources on Human Factors in Airway Management

Rich Levitan tells his Best Case Ever on Airway Strategy & Mental Preparedness in EM Procedures

George Kovacs on Psychology and Human Factors in Airway Management lecture

Failure to plan for failure: A discussion of Airway Disasters on EMCrit

Cliff Reid from ResusMe on Difficult Airway – What Kind Exactly

Situational awareness in resuscitation with Mike Lauria on EMCrit

The Vortex Approach to airway management

Head up intubation on SanCrit.