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The Vortex Approach

nextgen learning to elevate your airway practice


In airway management everything is fine until it isn’t. Then you and your team need to be prepared with a plan to address hypoxia. This cognitive tool will help.


IntroductionA Cognitive ToolNo Algorithms
LifelinesGreen ZoneDive Deeper
Vortex SIMEarn PointsWhat’s Next

The Cognitive Tool

Simple & Effective

“The major airway algorithms are valuable training tools to familiarise clinicians with an approach to emergency airway management prior to the occurrence of an airway crisis. They are not, presented in a format that makes their content readily accessible in real-time to teams of potentially highly stressed clinicians during the process of managing a challenging airway.”

Explanation of the Vortex Approach

No Algorithms

The Vortex is not an algorithm, it’s described by its creator Nicholas Chrimes as a high acuity tool designed to work at the bedside during a rapidly evolving airway emergency. While that flow chart may be good while studying, the high acuity tool is designed with human factors in mind, like the need for rapid recall under stress and an effective shared mental model.

The Upper Airway Lifelines

each is capable of OXYGEN delivery

Think of each of these tools as an upper airway “lifeline” each capable of delivering life-saving oxygen to your patient during an airway emergency.

The Green Zone

Use your airway lifelines to keep your patient in the green zone. The place on the vortex where you’re delivering adequate oxygenation. Here you have time to think, to plan, to prepare for your next move. This is where you want to be.

Dive Deeper

Have 10 minutes to sit and learn more about the details (we highly recommend it) then watch this video.

9:38 min
visit the vortex approach website

Vortex Demonstration

The Vortex Approach In Action

Watch this great simulation of the VORTEX APPROACH in action and see how it can be used to prioritize oxygenation.

What’s Next


When you’re ready, it’s time to head to the next poster shown here to continue the journey through this space.

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.