- Poster presentation
- Open Access
Formal airway assessment prior to emergency tracheal intubation: a regional survey of usual practice
© Karmali et al. 2011
- Published: 1 March 2011
- Emergency Department
- Tracheal Intubation
- Online Survey
- Usual Practice
- Hospital Ward
Formal airway assessment prior to tracheal intubation is one of the core skills taught to trainees in anaesthesia and forms part of routine perioperative practice. In the United Kingdom, anaesthetists perform the vast majority of emergency intubations of critically ill patients. We conducted a survey of usual practice and opinion regarding airway assessment in the emergency setting by trainees in anaesthesia.
An online survey tool was used to create a structured questionnaire pertaining to participants' experience of emergency tracheal intubation of critically ill patients in hospital wards, emergency departments and critical care units. This was distributed to trainees in anaesthesia across London. Participants were asked how often they had performed a formal airway assessment and whether they felt this would have changed patients' clinical outcome.
Previous studies have highlighted difficulties in formal airway assessment of critically ill patients in the Emergency Department . These difficulties - for example, lack of patients' ability to cooperate with an assessment - are mirrored in our survey. The majority of anaesthetists surveyed felt that formal airway assessment prior to emergency tracheal intubation of critically ill patients would make no difference to patient outcome. This suggests that most of those surveyed would question the usefulness of formal airway assessment in context of these circumstances.
This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.