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The Critical Language Compendium

language designed to elevate your airway practice
About this project

Language and communication is a critical and often overlooked component of successful airway management. Critical language provides clarity of thought, reduces cognitive load and enhances teamwork through a shared mental model. Being able to use language concisely and efficiently to drive effective action and teamwork is an important part your airway training.

So we’re excited to announce another collaborative PAC project. The “Critical Language Compendium” to help define and disseminate this important airway language. The Critical Language Compendium is a crowd-sourced project to identify key terms in airway management and disseminate this important language.

If you have a term we should add, please submit it here, and we will review it and get back to you. All submissions will be given credit on the website for the submission. Once accepted, anytime that term is used on the website, it will have a hyperlink to allow learners to access your submission and learn from it. 

The compendium will be integrated into this website so that anytime someone clicks on a highlighted term within a learning space, they will get a clear definition, a short discussion, or insight into the critical language defined and relevant content to understand better how it is used in clinical care.

For those interested in airway language who would like to make a submission or suggestion for additions to the compendium, please use the submission link below.

Best EffortFailed AirwaySafe Apnea Time
Double Set-UpPre-OxygenationTwo Curve Theory
Chest Compression FractionFirst Pass SuccessDifficult Airway
Complete Critical Airway Library


Want to learn more about the importance of critical language in airway managment? The paper below is a great read.

“Critical language refers to standardized communication in which specific terms or phrases have a clear, mutually agreed meaning. It is employed in healthcare and other high-reliability industries to avoid ambiguity, flatten hierarchies, and improve team situation awareness. Ideally, it should not only improve the clarity of communication but also trigger cognitive links to key priorities and actions required.”

Critical Airways, Critical Language – N. Chrimes and T. M. Cook

Department of Anaesthesia, Monash Medical Centre, 246 Clayton Rd, Clayton, VIC 3168, Australia, and 2Department of Anaesthesia and Intensive Care Medicine, Royal United Hospital, Combe Park, Bath BA12 3NG, UK

the Role of Critical Language in Airway management

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