Q: Airway compromise?

Hi guys,

We are having an “Airway & Ventilation” month this month, and will have a SIM practice as our C & C in September. My mission is to make the airway and ventilation management as our team’s strength and this is the first of the series of airway/ventilation related posts.
Hopefully I’ll prompt many questions and discussions before the next C & C in Sep so we can focus on practice when we get to the SIM suite.

I apologise again in advance for the posts you will receive every block this month, probably not well written…second language : (
You’ll see a case and questions on the first day of the block and some pearls that I’ve been taught before the night shift so hopefully we can have some discussions during the block.

Please post your questions, knowledge, pearls, and experience so we can all learn from each other!

Anyway here is the first question:

Case: You are having a break with your mate Blair (24yom) in Kaikoura. It is just after lunch time, and while surfing, Blair suddenly became unwell with global itch so Blair rode an awesome 4 foot wave and quickly got back to the beach (10mins north of Kaikoura). Blair quickly developed severe short of breath so you called 111.
Kaikoura volunteers arrived 20 mins later and the vital signs are;

RR  32, HR 140, BP 80/50, GCS 14 (4,4,6), SPO2 80% on RA, bilateral wheeze


  1. How do you assess airway and ventilation?
  2. What physiological signs and symptoms may give you the clues for the level of airway and ventilatory compromise?

And hey, the name or situation is totally irrelevant so don’t read too deeply into the scenario.

Cheers : )



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