In the initial assessment and management of any critically ill patient the ABC's (Airway, Breathing and Circulation) are the first priority. Hypoxia will begin to cause irreversible brain injury within approximately 5 minutes and so airway management must precede any other treatment. The ability to establish and maintain an open airway in a patient, and the ability to ensure adequate ventilation and oxygenation of the patient, are therefore essential skills for physicians. For the purposes of this module "basic airway management" will refer to those basic interventions that maintain an open airway and assist ventilation but do not include endotracheal intubation.

The goal of this module is for students to acquire the knowledge and skills necessary to manage an apneic patient. There is a multitude of skills you will need to acquire, but at all times the skills must be learned in the context of avoiding hypoxia in your patient. This means establishing and maintaining an open airway and providing adequate ventilation of the chest.

Students should complete this module and complete the embedded multiple-choice questions prior to their scheduled suturing seminar. There will be a brief multiple-choice exam based on this material at the beginning of the seminar.