During your clerkship, you will be encountering sick patients. This is obvious. However, I promise that at least one of these patients will catch you VERY off guard. It usually goes like this, you are walking into a room, ready to take a history from (what sounded like) a straight-forward patient. But as soon as you open that door… WHAM! You see an unconscious, hypoxic, hypotensive patient. Maybe they are simultaneously vomiting and pooping blood. Maybe they are limp, blue, and not breathing. Maybe they seize, fall on the floor, and smash their head. Your heart rate speeds up. A lump crawls into your throat. What do you do?

Easy. You start with the A-B-Cs.

In this episode, we cover A (Airway). And here is a hint, the algorithm does NOT start with intubation. Will you be able to intubate 5 minutes from now? Maybe. If the patient lives that long. But you need to act now. So what I plan on teaching you is an algorithm that allows you to take control of literally ANY situation in 60 seconds or less. I plan on giving you a FEAR algorithm. A plan for when soft, brown, mushy stool flies through the proverbial fan and sloshes all over your patient’s hemodynamic status.


  1. Hi Dr. Olson,

    Just wanted to stop by and say thanks! This podcast is great. I’ve recommended it to several of my classmates that are interested in EM. My home EM sub-i is in 2 months, so this is perfect timing to make sure I’m ready to make a great impression.

  2. Zack

    April 13, 2016 at 4:21 pm

    Thank you so much! I really appreciate the kind words. Good luck on your rotation. I’ll work hard to get some more core presentations out in the next few months. I just need to tweak the upcoming episodes a bit more. Is there a specific topic you would like me to do? Shoot me an email if you have any more feedback or questions about EM.

  3. Hi Doc Z
    Good job!!!!!!
    I learned a lot.

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