A Newly Developed Interprofessional In-Situ Simulation-Based Training for Airway Management of COVID-19 Patients: Identification of Challenges and Safety Gaps, and Assessment of the Participants Reaction

Abdulrahman Y. Sabbagh, Hala M. Alzaid, Abdullah A. Almarshed, Amani A. Azizalrahman, Shady Elmasry, Claudia A. Rosu, Usamah Alzoraigi, Abdulrahman Alzahrani, Ameera A. Cluntun


Background: Healthcare providers performing aerosol-generating procedures like airway management are at the highest risk for contamination with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). We developed an in-situ simulation (ISS) airway management training in confirmed or suspected COVID-19 patients for emergency and anesthesiology staff, evaluated participants reactions, and identified perceived challenges.

Methods: We used a cross-sectional study design incorporating a quantitative questionnaire to describe participants reaction to the ISS and a qualitative group interview using the plus-delta debriefing modality to explore participants challenges in acquiring the knowledge and skills required for each learning objective. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics and deductive content analysis.

Results: Two hundred and ninety-nine healthcare providers participated in 62 ISS training sessions. Over 90% of our study participants agreed or strongly agreed that: they understood the learning objectives; the training material appropriately challenged them; the course content was relevant, easy to navigate, and essential; the facilitators knowledge, teaching, and style were appropriate; the simulation facilities were suitable; and they had ample opportunities to practice the learned skills. The main challenges identified were anticipating difficult airways, preparing intubation equipment, minimizing the number of personnel inside the room, adhering to the proper doffing sequence, preparing needed equipment outside the intubation room, speaking up, and ensuring closed-loop communication.

Conclusion: The newly developed ISS training was feasible for busy healthcare practitioners to safely perform airway management procedures for suspected or confirmed COVID-19 patients without affecting bedside care. Anticipation of difficult airways and speaking up were the most frequent challenges identified across all specialties in this study.

J Clin Med Res. 2022;14(9):377-387
doi: https://doi.org/10.14740/jocmr4756


Simulation-based education; COVID-19; Airway management; PPE; Kirkpatrick level 1; Evaluation; Interprofessional training; In-situ simulation

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