Implementing an Interprofessional Difficult Airway Response Team to Identify and Manage High-Risk Airways. Journal Article

Authors: Shukairy, MK; Chadwick, L; LaPorte, CM; Pudwill, J; Syslo, JA; Fitzgerald, J; Bier-Laning, CM
Article Title: Implementing an Interprofessional Difficult Airway Response Team to Identify and Manage High-Risk Airways.
Abstract: OBJECTIVE: To describe a multidisciplinary approach to and results from the creation of a difficult airway response team (DART) to address the management of inpatient loss of airway events. METHODS: Description of an interprofessional process to establish and sustain a DART program at a tertiary care hospital. An Institutional Review Board-approved retrospective review of the quantitative results was conducted from November 2019 through March 2021. RESULTS: After establishing the existing processes for difficult airway management, a focus on "work as imagined" identified 4 pillars to address the goal for the project of bringing the right providers with the right equipment to the right patients at the right time through DART equipment carts, an expanded DART code team, a screening tool to identify patients with at-risk airways and unique messaging for DART code alerts. "Work as done" was assessed through simulations. Educational efforts included further simulations and group teaching. Sustainability was achieved through ongoing e-learning and bidirectional feedback. During the period of study, there were 40,752 patients admitted and 28,013 (69%) screens completed. At-risk airways were identified in 4282 admissions (11%), most commonly due to a history of a difficult airway (19%) and elevated body mass index (16%). The DART responded to 126 codes. There were no airway-related deaths or serious adverse events. DISCUSSION: A successful DART program was created, optimized, and sustained using components of interprofessional meetings, simulation, bidirectional feedback, and quantitative analysis. IMPLICATIONS FOR PRACTICE: The techniques described can serve to guide groups who identify a quality improvement project that involves interactions between multiple stakeholders.
Journal Title: Otolaryngology--head and neck surgery : official journal of American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery
ISSN: 1097-6817; 0194-5998
Publisher: Unknown  
Date Published: 2023
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