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A National Survey of Airway Management Training in United States Internal Medicine-Based Critical Care Fellowship Programs

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Abstract:

BACKGROUND: Intensivists may be primarily responsible for airway management in non-operating room locations. Little is known of airway management training provided during fellowship. Our primary aim was to describe the current state of airway education in internal medicine-based critical care fellowship programs. METHODS: Between February 1 and April 30, 2011, program directors of all 3-year combined pulmonary/critical care and 2-year multidisciplinary critical care medicine programs in the United States were invited to complete an online survey. Contact information was obtained via FRIEDA Online (https://freida.ama-assn.org). Non-responders were sent automated reminders, were contacted by e-mail, or by telephone. RESULTS: The overall response proportion was 66% (111/168 programs). Sixty-four (58%) programs reported a designated airway rotation, chiefly occurring for 1 month during the first year of training. Thirty-five programs (32%) reported having a director of airway education and 78 (70%) reported incorporating simulation-based airway education. Nearly all programs (95%) reported provision of supervised airway experience during fellowship. Commonly used airway management devices, including video laryngoscopes, intubating stylets, supraglottic airway devices, and fiberoptic bronchoscopes, were reportedly available to trainees. However, 73% reported ≤ 10 uses of a supraglottic airway device, 60% ≤ 25 uses of intubating stylets, 73% ≤ 30 uses of a video laryngoscope, and 65% reported ≤ 10 flexible fiberoptic intubations. Estimates of the required number of procedures to ensure competence varied widely. CONCLUSIONS: The majority of programs have a formal airway management program incorporating a variety of intubation techniques. Overall experience varies widely, however.

Keywords: airway management; critical care; education; endotracheal intubation

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.4187/respcare.01540

Affiliations: Department of Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine, Harborview Medical Center, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, USA

Publication date: July 1, 2012

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