Podcast 119 – Rich Levitan on the Surgical Airway


My friend and all-around incredible guy, Rich Levitan, speaking on the Surgical Airway.
1. See here for the EMCrit take on Surgical Airway

2. Subsequent to publication of the podcast, Rich Levitan received this letter:

I met you about 4 years ago and we had talked about airway training as you can see in the email below. First off I would like to thank you for your presentation at SOMA (or SOMSA) 2013. It was enlightening for me and I appreciated the discussion.

I am writing you about an airway lecture that you gave in a 2014 conference which was subsequently posted on EMCrit as podcast 119. Although the lecture was excellent, I would like to bring two small inconsistencies about the video portion to your attention:

1) Just for the sake of clarity, the soldiers featured in the video were actually from the 101st airborne, which is a conventional airborne unit staged out of Ft Campbell KY and they were performing operations in Afghanistan. These are not Special Forces soldiers and in fact, are not affiliated with Special Operations at all. The medics in the video received entry level medical training at Ft Sam Houston, home to AMMED. The scope of their training is relatively narrow in comparison to that of the Special Operations Medic.

The majority of Special Operations medics are more familiar with the cricothyrotomy procedure and are competent/confident enough to perform it when the injury pattern dictates the need. In fact, the majority of the cricothyrotomies performed at the point of injury, in combat, are performed by SOF Medics and not by conventional medics. This is not to take away from the amazing work that Dr Bob Mabry has done with the entry level training at Ft Sam.

2) The injured soldier in the video is actually an Afghan soldier working alongside American Troops. This is not one of their buddies. This is not to say that bonds never get formed between American Troops and the members of the local population because they certainly do, but a safe assumption here might be that the provider and the casualty do not even know each other’s names.

I don’t know why I am so compelled to address this, maybe it is a little bit of foolish pride in my Special Forces lineage but nevertheless being a man of science I am sure you desire the same level of accuracy in medicine as you do in all things.

Thank you again for all the support, hard work and passion you bring to emergency medicine!
Rich Levitan's New Advanced Airway and Endoscopy Course
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