Tag Archives: Paul Baker

Teaching old dogs new tricks

I have just got back from the Airway Skills course held in Sydney and run by Paul Baker (airwayskills.com). Unlike other courses, this was was genuine small group learning with plenty of opportunity to discuss cases, get hands on with a variety of equipment and was suitable not just for anaesthetists, but also intensivists, ED docs and rural proceduralists.

Its amazing how much one can learn even when one is doing a job on a daily basis. Paul Baker is well known as the author of numerous papers and the ANZCA ‘difficult airway’ equipment recommendations. As such, he brings a calm authority to discussion of airway and was a patient teacher.

I got a chance to play with a variety of equipment, including understanding the vital difference between proseal and supreme LMAs, play with combitubes, fiddle with Frova’s, Aintree catheters and confirm my choice of scalpel-bougie-tube for surgical airways. Also a great session on AFOI, as well as discussion of using 15l/min O2 via nasal specs as an adjunct to preoxygention/RSI and Levitan’s excellent airway book…

Only one thing was missing – a ‘soiled airway’ mannikin, to simulate the emergency airway that is the province of trauma and emergency docs…I know Minh le Cong has been muttering about such a simulator, but I reckon it’d be a great chance to wet test some ideas like Weingart’s ETT as suction catheter.

Rural docs have a plethora of courses to choose from – EMST, APLS, ELS, RESP, MOET, ALSO etc, as well as clinical attachments for procedural upskilling. I’ve blogged previously about the excellent Rural Doctors NSW procedural conference (combined with a day at the sim lab for GP-anaesthetists) and how I’d love to bring a conference with similar content to South Australia. The Baker airway skills course is so good that I reckon it’ll soon become oversubscribed, and the rural proceduralist cohort may miss out…wouldn’t it be great to bring this paradigm to a wider audience, rather than just 3-4 courses per annum on Oz and NZ?