"A Pain in the Neck"

Format Publication ID Version Published
Case 717 1 February 25, 2009
Northwestern University, The Feinberg School of Medicine


This is a high-fidelity simulation case presentation of a 64 year-old female who presents via EMS with a chief complaint of "trouble breathing" and swelling in the neck. Initial vital signs are stable. The condition progresses to acute respiratory distress secondary to progressive expansion of neck mass shortly after arrival. Anesthesia/ENT consultants are unavailable. The learner must proceed to intubation of the difficult airway.


Wang E, Vozenilek J. "A Pain in the Neck". MedEdPORTAL; 2009. Available from: www.mededportal.org/publication/717

Educational Objectives



  • Airway Obstruction (MeSH), Neck Injuries (MeSH), Respiratory Distress (MeSH), Intubation (MeSH)


  • Medical
    • Anesthesiology
    • Emergency Medicine

Competencies Addressed

  • Medical
    • Interpersonal & Communication Skills
    • Medical Knowledge
    • Patient Care
    • Practice-based Learning & Improvement
    • Professionalism

Academic Focus

  • Clinical Sciences
    • Clinical Exam
    • Clinical Skills/Doctoring

Professional Interest

  • Communication Skills
  • Evaluation of Clinical Performance
  • Instructional Materials/Methods

Intended Audience

  • Professional School
    • Medical Student
  • Professional School Post-Graduate Training
    • Resident

Instructional Methods

  • Problem-based Learning
  • Simulation

Join the Conversation

Share your thoughts with other users. Please sign in to comment on this material.

Material Access

Please sign in to access this material.

Please register for an AAMC account if you do not have one.


Browse Publications

Subscribe to Our Monthly Newsletter

Receive featured content and announcements!

  • MedEdPORTAL Home
  • Register
  • My MedEdPORTAL
  • Contact Us