Teamwork in Emergency Airway Management: The New Elaine Bromiley Videos

EMCrit – Four years ago, friend of the show, Minh Le Cong discussed three airway disasters. The first one mentioned was the case of Elaine Bromiley, a routine operation that went horribly awry. In that post, there was a video of the Bromiley case that is a must-watch. Nicholas Chrimes, co-creator of the vortex approach, has created two new videos on this topic that every airway operator should see:

The Reproduced Elaine Bromiley Case Reproduction Video


This video, produced by Simpact with the permission of Martin Bromiley, is primarily intended for the education of healthcare clinicians, particularly those involved in advanced airway management. By providing a more immersive, real-time version of events which includes some technical detail, the hope is that this video will increase the learning opportunities from the case by assisting airway clinicians to understand not just how these events could happen – but how they might happen to them.

The video was made with the support of the Australian Centre for Health Innovation and was launched at the Society for Airway Management meeting in Seattle on Sept 20th 2014.

It is important to recognize that many details of what transpired during this case are unknown. The depiction of unknown events has been based on the best estimate of expert clinicians. The scenario portrayed thus represents only one possible interpretation of the reported events and approximate timeline of the case. This video is not intended to depict the specific actions of particular individuals and as such, is a work of fiction.


Using the circumstances of a real case as a starting point, this video demonstrates the use of a variety of cognitive aids & teamwork strategies, including the Vortex Approach, in managing an airway crisis. The video was produced by Simpact with the support of Martin Bromiley.

Whilst the scenario portrayed initially uses the context of a real case, it is not possible to know whether the strategies used in the video would have actually influenced the the course of events in that particular case. The intention is that this video be used to illustrate, and initiate discussion about, approaches which might facilitate the efficient implementation of the technical aspects of difficult airway management in such a situation, by optimising teamwork and situational awareness during an emergency.

Written & Directed by Nicholas Chrimes

More information on the Vortex Approach to airway management is available at

What If? Teamwork in Emergency Airway Management from Simpact on Vimeo.

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