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The Simplicity of the Scalpel



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Alright, let’s do this. Listen here and explore all the content before heading to the training lab in our physical space to practice.

Enhanced Digital Content

Use this learning space in two ways. As an online course, scroll down and enter the online learning space. Explore each section below, or use the navigation tool to go directly to the content you’re interested in. Then, use this enhanced digital content in one of our pop-up physical spaces for hands-on procedure training, skills challenges, and expert coaching.


Rapid ReviewFull Video
FONA PearlsCadaveric Demo
Guided PracticeCurated FOAMed

Adjust Your Thinking

“What if, instead of declaring a failed airway in a can’t intubate and can’t oxygenate situation, we just said, it’s time to move to our simplified airway plan, because that’s what the FONA procedure is, simple. You can do this.”

Rapid Review

Real time too slow for you? Just need a quick refresher? Get the essentials of this procedure in 43 seconds flat. Then dive deeper into the content below to complete your training.

The Technique

Scalpel Finger Bougie Explained

Watch the full video of the procedure here. Simple and effective this technique is everything you need and nothing you don’t. Then dive into some clinical pearls and hands on opportunities below.

Anatomical Demonstration

Cadaveric Demonstrations

Sometimes it’s just better on a real cadaveric model. Here are a couple of great examples of this technique by AIME Airway in their anatomy lab. Watch these for an extra review before heading to the hands on training experience.

Clinical Pearls

extend the next

In the heat of the moment this simple but important maneuver is often overlooked. Don’t forget to do it!

finger & bougie

There’s a lot of anxiety around what to do once you’ve made the incision. Should the scalpel stay in, do I need a tracheal hook? Really, it’s okay, just stick your finger in that hole!!

delivering the tube

You may not the steps of the FONA procedure, but it’s the little tricks like this one right here that will help you master it.

Curated MedEd

We curate some of the best FOAMed resources so you can dive deeper into this topic and also build your learning network. Follow some of these great educators for great learning. We do!!

A FONA captured in the wild

This video generated a lot of discussion in the FOAM universe. Whatever your perspective is, we include it as an opportunity to experience and watch a rarely captured event and the clinical pearls that go with it,

the simplicity of fona – ideal under pressure

This video of a surgical airway performed in Afghanistan is here as a great reminder that it’s not the technical aspects of eFONA that are difficult. That simplicity rules. Notice how simple their technique is (they don’t even use bougie!) Then pay attention to all of the logistics, teamwork, and stress related obstacles they successfully overcome to make the cut and save a life.

FOAMEd FONA in Afghanistan – Youtube
The Debrief: Why was this surgical airway successful?
  • The team made a quick decision, and didn’t waste time trying other techniques likely to fail.
  • Team approach: supported by team members that this was the right decision (do it dude!).
  • Nothing fancy, the procedure was paired down to the essentials and performed in seconds.
  • Logistics: team members knew how to find everything and negotiate their environment.
HANDS-ON training

Remember, if you’re in one of our pop-up learning spaces or a PAC Live event, find this icon and use the multimedia tools for hands-on guided practice.

  1. Look for this icon.
  2. Snap the QR code.
  3. Begin your hands-on practice.
  4. Get feedback on your skills.

Don’t forget to ask our faculty coaches for real-time expert feedback and earn points!

User Guide

Keep yourself on track and get credit for completion using this guide.

  1. Open the guide to a tab on your browser.
  2. Visit each poster & review the content.
  3. Complete any challenges to earn points.
before you leave REMEMBER TO
  1. Collect all available points within this space in the user guide.
  2. Submit your user guide to earn credit for your work.
  3. Choose the next learning space to explore!

Well done! You’ve reached the end. Feel free to go back into the physical space to review any hands-on skills or visit all the digital content anytime, anywhere in its online home here.

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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