Sunday, May 26, 2019 • 15:00 - 16:30
Track 4 - Airway Management Priorities, Pearls and Pitfalls
Track Chair: Dr. George Kovacs
Room: 201

Airway Management Priorities, Pearls and Pitfalls - Drs. Laura Duggan, Nick Sowers, George Kovacs

Description: Fifteen airway cases and a string of evidence-based pearls.

Learning Objectives
At the end of this presentation, participants will be able to:

  1. Review difficult airway scenarios and address controversies in their management.
  2. Outline clinical pearls for managing complex decision making and psychological stress involved in difficult airway management.
  3. Recommend strategies for skill development and retention for HALO procedures required in difficult airway scenarios.


  1. The oxygen saturation does not determine the need for a surgical airway.
  2. The ED awake intubation is often the safest approach for managing apnea intolerant patients.
  3. The patient determines the type of laryngoscope, not the clinician.

Laura Duggan is a reformed paediatric emergency physician now cardiothoracic anesthesiologist. Interested in where our acute care specialties overlap; airway, resuscitation and communication. Research, teaching, learning and being kind are the only ways forward.

Nick Sowers is an attending emergency physician at the Halifax Infirmary, assistant professor of emergency medicine at Dalhousie and a Trauma Team Leader with Trauma Nova Scotia. His subspecialty area of interest is airway management. He is frequently covered in dog hair.

Dr. George Kovacs is a full-time professor of Emergency Medicine and is cross-appointed in the Department of Anaesthesia, Department of Medical Neuroscience and Division of Medical Education at Dalhousie University. He works clinically as an Emergency Physician and Trauma Team Leader at the Queen Elizabeth II Health Sciences Centre in Halifax. He is Medical Director of Lifeflight, the Provincial critical care transport program. He holds a Masters of Health Professions Education from the University of Illinois where he developed his interest in procedural skill learning and is the Director of the Clinical Cadaver Program at Dalhousie.