Cowley only college in Kansas to offer ‘Difficult Airway’ course

By Rama Peroo
Arkansas City Traveler – May 26, 2015

Derek Champlin, a firefighter-paramedic from Concordia, and ‘Difficult Airway’ faculty member Malachi Winters work with a Laerdal Airway Management Trainer.  Photo by Rama Peroo.

Derek Champlin, a firefighter-paramedic from Concordia, and ‘Difficult Airway’ faculty member Malachi Winters work with a Laerdal Airway Management Trainer.
Photo by Rama Peroo.

Cowley College — which has one of the few paramedic programs in the nation and the only one in Kansas to offer “The Difficult Airway” course as part of its core curriculum — conducted the intensive, two-day, national level course designed for paramedics, critical care transport nurses, physicians and other advanced providers on last Tuesday and Wednesday in Arkansas City.

Fifty students took part in the course. Students were from Cowley College’s paramedic program cohorts in Winfield and its online program, and also from several different states and various service areas around the area.

The course is designed to help individuals to learn the important airway algorithms and mnemonics.

Individuals in the course also used all of the proven airway devices in small group sessions, while practicing decision making and airway techniques in Code Airway Stations.

Participants were presented with challenging patient scenarios such as elevated ICP, pulmonary edema, cardiogenic shock, status asthmaticus, a foreign body in the airway, direct airway trauma, and multiple trauma with shock.
The didactic and hands-on training covers RSI (Rapid Sequence Intubation), prediction of the difficult airway, difficult airway interventions using video laryngoscopes and other devices designed for EMS, and surgical airway techniques.

The group used advanced patient simulators to mimic airway problems.

The course was conducted by local instructors, consisting of 12 Cowley College “Difficult Airway” faculty, as well as Nick Wride, with STORZ Medical, and Bud Abbott, with Laerdal Medical.

Laerdal Medical provided adult, pediatric and infant simulators for the two-day course.

“We want individuals to leave with the tools to manage the most critically ill patient they will see, and to be equipped with the thinking and skills to improve patient outcomes,” said Chris Cannon, Cowley Allied Health Department chair and director of EMS education.

Cannon was assisted by Cowley instructors Dr. Rob Dillard, Scott Ten Eyck, T.J. Popp, Deryk Ruddle, Megan Russell, Steve Storm, Samantha Troyer, Cindy Webster, Lyle Webster, Andrea Winters and Malachi Winters.



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