Assessing Anesthesiology Residents' Out-of-the-Operating-Room (OOOR) Emergent Airway Management

Lauryn R. Rochlen; Michelle Housey; Ian Gannon; Shannon Mitchell; Deborah M. Rooney; Alan R. Tait; Milo Engoren


BMC Anesthesiol. 2017;17(96) 

In This Article

Abstract and Introduction


Background: At many academic institutions, anesthesiology residents are responsible for managing emergent intubations outside of the operating room (OOOR), with complications estimated to be as high as 39%. In order to create an OOOR training curriculum, we evaluated residents' familiarity with the content and correct adherence to the American Society of Anesthesiologists' Difficult Airway Algorithm (ASA DAA).

Methods: Residents completed a pre-simulation multiple-choice survey measuring their understanding and use of the DAA. Residents then managed an emergent, difficult OOOR intubation in the simulation center, where two trained reviewers assessed performance using checklists. Post-simulation, the residents completed a survey rating their behaviors during the simulation. The primary outcome was comprehension and adherence to the DAA as assessed by survey responses and behavior in the simulation.

Results: Sixty-three residents completed both surveys and the simulation. Post-survey responses indicated a shift toward decreased self-perceived familiarity with the DAA content compared to pre-survey responses. During the simulation, 22 (35%) residents were unsuccessful with intubation. Of these, 46% placed an LMA and 46% prepared for cricothyroidotomy. Nineteen residents did not attempt intubation. Of these, only 31% considered LMA placement, and 26% initiated cricothyroidotomy.

Conclusions: Many anesthesiology residency training programs permit resident autonomy in managing emergent intubations OOOR. Residents self-reported familiarity with the content of and adherence to the DAA was higher than that observed during the simulation. Curriculum focused on comprehension of the DAA, as well as improving communication with higher-level physicians and specialists, may improve outcomes during OOORs.