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Classic Assessment Tools & Mnemonics

A nextgen learning spaced designed to elevate your airway practice


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A few cognitive tools to help you predict a potentially difficult airway. Let’s talk about their benefits and limitations.

The Digital Learning Space

Enhanced Online Content

Scroll down and enter. Explore each section below, or use the navigation tool here to go directly to the content you’re interested in. Then, in the physical space look for the guided practice icons for hands-on procedure and skills training.



Can you predict difficulty? We get into this murky topic later, but for now, we want to give you some quick assessment tools in easy mnemonic form so that you can start to apply them at the bedside for your next airway. Remembering these is helpful but we suggest that as you review them you start to notice the patterns and themes that run through each for what makes an airway “difficult” since at the end of the day this is really what really matters, being able to identify the difficult BEFORE it happens to you unexpectedly.

For Face Mask Ventilation

Difficult BVM = BONES

What are the characteristics or elements that may make someone difficult to bag (ie perform face mask ventilation with a BVM)? Review them here.

For Endotracheal Intubation

difficult to intubate = lemon

Is your patient potentially difficult to intubate? The LEMON mnemonic can help you decide.

For Supraglottic Airway Placement


For Front of Neck Access (FONA)


Curated Social MedEd


No discussion of the FONA assessment would be complete without the greatest performance of FONA anatomy palpation of all time.

User Guide

Open this to help guide you through the space and earn credit toward completion.

  1. Open the guide to a tab on your browser.
  2. Visit each poster & review the content.
  3. Complete any challenges to earn points.

What’s Next


Congratulations! You’ve completed this section of the learning space. Collect all the available points before moving on to the next poster to explore all the interactive and hands-on learning opportunities. 

Online Only

If you can’t be with us in person, you can still use this enhanced digital content as an online course. Visit the digital home page of this learning space by using the link below. Otherwise, head to the next poster above to continue through the physical learning space.

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