What airway management information do anaesthetic charts prompt for? An audit of charts from 132 hospitals across Australia and New Zealand
Anaesthesia & Intensive Care Medicine
July 2023 by Dr Ian Miles
This article presents the results of an audit of blank anaesthetic charts from 132 hospitals accredited for training by ANZCA. The charts were evaluated for 17 data fields describing tracheal intubation, supraglottic airway use and bag-mask ventilation, with the intent of assessing how useful the charts might be in documenting which airway techniques worked, and which ones did not. The median number of prompts, of the 17 fields examined, was 7 (range 0 – 15).
The discussion highlighted that the relevant College document (PG06) does not specify what details of airway management should be included on an anaesthetic record. Of the charts audited, the main focus related to tracheal intubation, with less information and details relating to SGA or BMV.
While this article is not specifically paediatric in nature, it does provide food for thought on how useful the anaesthetic records of our own institutions are in making it easy to document any airway difficulties experienced and how they were resolved, with an eye to assisting a future anaesthetist caring for the same patient.