Maintaining competence in airway management

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Background: Airway management is a defining skill for anaesthesiologists. Anaesthesiologists must maintain and update these crucial skills throughout their career, but how this is best achieved remains unclear. This study aimed to clarify anaesthesiologists’ procedural volume, confidence in airway management and their current and preferred future educational strategies. Methods: A questionnaire was developed consisting of 28 items exploring essential skills in airway management. All anaesthesiologists in the Capital Region of Denmark were invited to participate. Results: The response rate was 84% (240/285). Most anaesthesiologists felt competent to a high or very high degree in basic airway management. Anaesthesiologists from anaesthesia felt confident to a significantly higher degree than those working in the intensive care unit (ICU) regarding the practical aspects of airway management in both the anticipated difficult airway (93% vs 73%, P <.001) and the unanticipated difficult airway (81% vs 61%, P =.002). Both groups performed most of the key advanced techniques ≤4 times yearly, whereas anaesthesiologists from the ICU had a lower and less diverse procedural volume than those working in anaesthesia. The anaesthesiologists preferred training through their daily clinical work, hands-on workshops, and scenario-based simulation training. However, a large discrepancy was identified between the current and the desired level of training. Conclusion: The anaesthesiologists felt competent to a high or very high degree in basic airway management but the current procedural volume in advanced airway management causes concern for skill maintenance. Furthermore, we found a gap between the current and the desired level of supplemental training.

Original languageEnglish
JournalActa Anaesthesiologica Scandinavica
Issue number6
Pages (from-to)751-758
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2020

ID: 244324445