Emergency Medical Services
The Difficult Airway
Cowley College paramedic program teaches advanced international course
Cowley College offers an intensive two-day, nationally recognized airway management course.
Jeff Birrer, The Difficult Airway course director and paramedic in Portland, Oregon, has been leading the course for the past four years.
The advanced international course, which was designed to help individuals learn the important airway algorithms and mnemonics, is also being conducted in England and Australia. Individuals in the course used all of the proven airway devices in small group sessions, while practicing decision making and airway techniques in Code Airway Stations.
Participants then faced challenging patient scenarios such as elevated ICP, pulmonary edema, cardiogenic shock, status asthmaticus, foreign body in the airway, direct airway trauma, and multiple trauma with shock.
The didactic and hands-on training covered RSI (Rapid Sequence Intubation), prediction of the difficult airway, difficult airway evaluation using video laryngoscopes designed for EMS, and surgical airway techniques. The group used robotic mannequins to mimic airway problems.