Frequently Asked Questions

1. Why Did We Create The Airway App?

It all started with conversations with three different residents: two from anesthesia and one from emergency medicine.

They observed three key things about awake intubations:

1. There is an extreme variation in practise and teaching of technique(s).

2. There is no evidence-based consensus on which technique was best. 

3. Staff teaching the techniques often would accept patient discomfort as inevitable during awake techniques, while other patients had very minimal/no discomfort. 

No patient should have undo discomfort and every patient should be treated in the safest way possible. That's why we created The Airway App. 

By crowdsourcing what works and what does not, we will be able to better understand effective and safe techniques in a variety of REAL clinical circumstances by REAL clinicians.

By data-sharing we can overcome the barriers of traditional medical research and dissemination barriers and lag-times. 

2. What data do we collect?

There are a number of apps that give advice/information about how to best manage a patient's airway. 

The issue? Information about how best to manage an airway is incomplete/opinion-based and circumstantial. 

We collect basic patient information such as age, BMI, your credentials, the country you are from, but then the app allows us to go beyond basic data available on most paper charts or EMR's to ask about human factors, about modifications, patient tolerance, etc. We even ask you to reflect on what you might have done differently if that was possible. Powerful stuff!

3. What data do we NOT collect? 

We do not collect any clinician OR patient identifiers, aside from the country that the procedure took place in. And really, this is just so we can keep our cool map graphic up to date.

4. What about Ethics Approval?

Ethics approval was sought and a letter was obtained stating that due to the de-identified nature of all data, ethics approval was not required. 

5. Can I 'play' with this app without throwing off 'real' data collection?

Please do! The first question of the app asks specifically this. So answer truthfully and play away! 

6. How do I see the data?

Data will be published on this website and updated every two months. If you are interested in seeing the data for awake intubations, click the Awake Intubation page, and find the most recent results there. If you are interested in seeing the data for surgical airway/front of neck access, click the Surgical Airway page, and find the most recent results there.

7. What about current literature? 

Intermittently, we will post interesting studies, letters to the editor or other literature that contributes to the body of knowledge surrounding awake intubation and surgical airway/front of neck access. Find these blog entries on the Current Literature page.