Airway Management Education: Are we teaching what we think we are teaching?

  • Editorial Office
  • Ross Hofmeyr University of Cape Town
  • Rowan Duys University of Cape Town


A little learning is a dangerous thing; Drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring: There shallow draughts intoxicate the brain, and drinking largely sobers us again. Alexander Pope, An Essay on Criticism, 1709

In this edition of the journal, Satyapal and colleagues describe a study in which video recordings of intubation attempts by novice practitioners – and the concurrent clinical supervision by their seniors – was systematically analysed to discern errors in technique, factors influencing success or failure, and how supervisors intervened to transfer skills.1 This novel approach to assessing airway teaching within the confines of a controlled South African teaching hospital environment casts light on the important issues of what, when, where and how we are teaching airway management. Moreover, it gives us cause to reflect on the fundamental questions: Why are we teaching airway skills? What are our goals? Which ethical principles have precedence? Who should be learning to manage airways, and critically: Who should be learning to teach?

Author Biographies

Ross Hofmeyr, University of Cape Town
Associate Professor Lead: UCT-Storz Fellowship in Airway & Thoracic Anaesthesia
Rowan Duys, University of Cape Town
Specialist Anaesthesiologist UCT-Dräger Fellow in Simulation & Education Department of Anaesthesia & Perioperative Medicine Faculty of Health Sciences University of Cape Town