"The term ‘Difficult Airway’ refers to the presence of any clinically significant threat to oxygenation and / or ventilation with difficulty in any of the key domains of airway management i.e. difficult or impossible bag-mask ventilation, supraglottic airway insertion, tracheal intubation or front of neck access."
The Difficult Airway Alert and glossary of terms are the culmination of several months of extensive research and wide spread consultation across the public and private health sectors by the Statewide Anaesthesia and Perioperative Care Clinical Network (SWAPNet) Difficult Airway Alert Working Group.
When a difficult airway situation arises, the form is completed by a senior clinician involved in the event and uploaded to The Viewer and/or ieMR by designated officers in Queensland Health facilities and a copy is provide to the patient and GP as required.
A submission has been lodged to have the Difficult Airway Alert considered for inclusion in the MyHealth Record.
The Difficult Airway Alert has been endorsed by the Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists, Airway Management Special Interest Group and is currently being promoted for adoption across Australia and New Zealand. A solution for private hospitals is being sought and the development of a national database is proposed.
The network has been invited to present the Difficult Airway Alert at the International Airway Conference in Kuala Lumper in March 2019.
The project won the Enabling Safe, Quality Services and High Performance Category at the 2018 Queensland Health Awards for Excellence.