Professor David Story
Difficult airway equipment at University of Melbourne affiliated hospitals: a multicentre audit and quality assurance project (The DAEUM Study)
Effective management of a difficult airway is a core skill for anaesthetists and relies on the timely availability of suitable airway equipment.
The Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists (ANZCA) have produced guidelines (Professional Standards): PS56 Guidelines on Equipment to Manage a Difficult Airway During Anaesthesia. These guidelines include the equipment needed to manage a difficult airway, the location for storing the equipment, and quality assurance measures to ensure that it is always available and in good working order.
A pilot study was conducted and an audit tool developed to test compliance with the ANZCA guidelines across different areas within Austin Health in 2011. This pilot study found varying compliance with the ANZCA Professional Standards which, as a quality assurance project, facilitated practice change. The DAEUM Study used the same tool to audit the adherence to these guidelines among different Victorian Hospitals in key locations where anaesthetists, intensive care physicians or emergency medical physicians may need to manage a patient with a difficult airway.
Directors of Anaesthesia from the 14 hospitals affiliated with the University of Melbourne were invited to participate with this multicentre audit.
Prof David Story
Dr Irene Ng
Dr Keat Lee
A/Prof Reny Segal
Dr Sajidah Ilyas
Ng I, Segal R, Lee KL, Ilyas S, Story D. A prospective audit of difficult airway equipment at University of Melbourne–affiliated hospitals. Anaesthesia and Intensive Care. 2015; 43: 528.