Airway Incident in Anaesthesia Audit

Airway Incidents in Anaesthesia Audit

This project co-ordinated by the Airway Management SIG and WebAIRs, will run for six months collecting data across sites in Australia and New Zealand on significant airway incidents and “near misses”.

We have now launched and data collection will continue until October 5, 2018.

Motivation for the audit:

It is now a decade since the airway incidents reported in the United Kingdom for NAP 4 occurred. Many improvements in the way we think and educate about airway management have come from this work. It is time to relook at airway incidents, this time in a slightly more inclusive way and for the first time from an Australian and New Zealand perspective. We are keen gauge our local complication rate and more importantly seek to find where the incremental improvements in airway management now lie.

What airway incidents are we including?

1. Any case where the neck has been accessed
2. Any case where a patient had to be woken up during airway management
3. Any case where significant morbidity has occurred as a result of airway management (aspiration, dental injury, oral trauma, prolonged hypoxia, ICU admission)
4. Any case that has resulted in mortality as a result of airway management
5. Any case where the situation was not controlled, resulted in hypoxia or prolonged tenuous oxygenation, significant deviation from the proposed airway management strategy and/or significant stress for the treating anaesthetist, the theatre team or patient.

Which hospitals are involved and who is co-ordinating at these sites?

  • Royal Brisbane and Women’s hospitals – Dr Linda Beckmann
  • Royal Adelaide Hospital – Dr Yasmin Endlich
  • St Vincent’s Hospital (Sydney) – Dr Drew Heffernan
  • Royal North Shore Hospital (Sydney) – Dr Gene Lee
  • Royal Melbourne Hospital –Associate Professor Reny Segal
  • Alfred Hospital, Melbourne – Dr Pierre Bradley
  • Wellington Hospital – Dr Sheila Hart
  • North Shore Hospital, Auckland – Dr Michal Kluger
  • Royal Darwin Hospital – Dr Greg Houghton
  • Royal Perth Hospital – Dr Gordon Chapman
  • Cairns Hospital – Dr James Sartain and Dr Eldon Ward
  • Princess Alexandra Hospital – Dr Anton Booth and Dr David Sturgess

Adding an event
If you are at a participating hospital and believe you have a suitable event to report we would encourage you to speak with your local site co-ordinator and enter the event details into our specific database using your WebAIRS login:

If you would like any further information on the audit please feel free to contact us.

Dr Yasmin Endlich, Dr Linda Beckmann, Dr Martin Culwick, Dr Keith Greenland