Attendees can choose their own adventure through video for second year in airway management session

Attendees will once again have the chance to make their own decisions in how to manage the airway in critically ill patients by selecting video segments that follow certain paths during the session Choose-Your-Own-Adventure in Difficult Airway Management.

This interactive session is back at CHEST 2019 after debuting at last year’s annual meeting. It starts at 7:30 am on Monday in room 262 of the convention center.

Dr. Bell said handling someone who needs airway management in the ICU happens infrequently, but it is high-risk.

“Airway management in the critically ill patient is a very stressful, high-stakes type of event,” said Col. David G. Bell, MD, FCCP. “It’s one where being able to balance competing challenges of maintaining oxygenation and making sure a patient stays hemodynamically stable throughout the procedure are really tough things to navigate. People work as a team, and many of our attendees are the team leaders for those situations. Having a chance to go through it as a group and thinking about different ways to approach one of these situations is really helpful.”

During the session, a video will present an issue, and when there are decision points, the session leaders will give attendees a few options to choose from. The group will quickly answer, and the decision from the majority will dictate where to go next with the scenario.

At each branch point, depending where the attendees decide to land, the session leaders will pause and add some of the background information, go over the learning objectives, and review where the literature can inform about how to approach it more optimally.

Dr. Bell said it’s important to remember that in a lot of places, there is no wrong answer, just different ways to approach it, and a lot of gray area.

Because everything happens at once in airway management, things seem simple in concept, but when you put them in practice, it becomes very challenging to keep up with everything, he added.

“I think when things get stressful, it is often times difficult to take a step back and remember the big picture goals that the team is trying to achieve, said Dr. Bell, associate dean of graduate medical education at San Antonio Uniformed Services Health Education Consortium. “I think by going through these cases, we hope to illustrate how you can really simplify the complex situation to stay focused on the big picture areas, in this case, maintaining adequate oxygenation and hemodynamic stability throughout the procedure. We also help to condition people to think about trying something new when the existing attempt isn’t giving the results that are desired, instead of remaining fixed on the one process that isn’t achieving results.”


“I think when things get stressful, it is often times difficult to take a step back and remember the big picture goals that the team is trying to achieve.”

Col. David G. Bell, MD, FCCP