Airway management is practised by a wide variety of clinicians across a diverse range of settings, for numerous indications. Published airway guidelines have traditionally been developed by societies representing specific geographical regions, to address the requirements of airway operators practising in a particular discipline and context - typically focusing on the situation where intubation is the primary goal. Such guidelines are important to highlight the requirements for safe, effective care in these defined circumstances but may obscure the core underlying principles that transcend the context in which airway management occurs. In addition their context specific nature prevents them being directly applied to some clinical situations.
The goal of the Project for Universal Management of Airways is to produce a guideline that reflects, as much as possible, the consensus of existing published airway guidelines and can be applied to all episodes of airway care, across boundaries of geography, clinical discipline or context. The term 'universal' is used to reflect that the guideline developed will not only reflect international consensus but that it articulates appropriate management principles independent of:
- Urgency: elective or emergency
- Patient characteristics: adult, paediatric, obstetric, aspiration risk, etc
- Indication: surgery, resuscitation, respiratory compromise, impaired conscious state, etc
- Location: operating room, emergency department, intensive care unit, wards, prehospital
- Provider: anesthesiologist, emergency physician, intensivist, paramedic, respiratory therapist, surgeon
- Anticipated challenges: routine or complex cases
- Primary intended airway: face-mask, supraglottic airway or tracheal tube.
The intention is for the universal guideline to complement existing guidelines by emphasising unifying basic principles, facilitating interdisciplinary team performance and assisting to standardise the approach to airway management globally.
An international and multidisciplinary working group of airway specialists has been assembled to determine the key issues to be addressed by airway management guidelines and review the existing guidelines in order to identify areas of consensus in relation to these.
Where the working group identifies that strong consensus exists amongst airway guidelines on key issues, these will be adopted as the recommendations of the universal guideline. No further consultation or literature review will be performed in this situation given such recommendations are already based on extensive review of the literature, .
The input of a broader advisory group of airway practitioners will be sought, in combination with a selective review of the relevant literature, to support any recommendations made in the following situations:
- Where guideline recommendations on key issues diverge.
- Where key issues are not addressed by the existing guidelines in a manner that supports universal application of a recommendation.
- Where there have been recent significant developments in relation to key issues that are not widely reflected in the existing guidelines.
- As otherwise required in the judgement of the working and/or advisory groups.
The working and advisory groups for this project are comprised of physicians working in anesthesiology, critical care, emergency medicine, surgery and pre-hospital care and include representation from authors of most of the published practice guidelines produced by the various airway societies.
A draft of the universal guideline will be circulated to organisations representing airway practitioners internationally, and presented at a series of airway meetings, for discussion and feedback before the final guideline is produced.
June 2016: First meeting of working group in London
2016 - 2017: Terms of reference and methodology defined, key areas for comment determined, review of existing guidelines undertaken.
2017 -2018: Drafting of consensus recommendations.
2019: Distribution of draft guideline and presentation at airway meetings for discussion and comment.
November 2019: Presentation of final universal guideline at World Airway Management Meeting in Amsterdam and journal publication.
Carin Hagberg, Anesthesiology, United States (Executive Chair)
Nicholas Chrimes, Anaesthesiology, Australia (Project Lead)
Paul Baker, Anaesthesia, New Zealand
Richard Cooper, Anesthesiology, Canada
Robert Greif, Anaesthesiology, Switzerland
Andy Higgs, Anaesthesia and Intensive Care Medicine, United Kingdom
George Kovacs, Emergency Medicine, Canada
J. Adam Law, Anesthesiology, Canada
Sheila Nainan Myatra, Anaesthesiology and Intensive Care Medicine, India
Ellen O'Sullivan, Anaesthesia, Ireland
William Rosenblatt, Anesthesiology, United States
Christopher Ross, Emergency Medicine, United States
John Sakles, Emergency Medicine, United States
Massimiliano Sorbello, Anaesthesiology and Intensive Care Medicine, Italy
- Pedro Acha, Emergency Medicine, Spain
- Imran Ahmad, Anaesthesia, United Kingdom
- Tak Asai, Anesthesiology, Japan
- Michael Aziz, Anesthesiology, United States
- Darren Braude, Emergency Medicine and Paramedicine, United States
- David Brewster, Intensive Care Medicine and Anaesthesia, Australia
- Pedro Charco Mora, Anesthesiology and Intensive Care, Spain
- Tim Cook, Anaesthesia and Intensive Care Medicine, United Kingdom
- Anil D'Cruz, ENT Surgery, India
- Pierre Diemunsch, Anaesthesiology and Intensive Care Medicine, France
- Karen Domino, Anesthesiology, United States
- Laura Duggan, Anesthesiology, Canada
- Thomas Engelhardt, Anaesthesia, United Kingdom
- John Fiadjoe, Anesthesiology, United States
- Paul Gardiner, Anaesthesia and Intensive Care Medicine, New Zealand
- John Gatward, Intensive Care Medicine and Anaesthesia, Australia
- Keith Greenland, Anaesthesia, Australia
- Thomas Heidegger, Anaesthesiology, Switzerland
- Ross Hofmeyr, Anaesthesiology and Emergency Medicine, South Africa
- Russ Horowitz, Intensive Care and Emergency Medicine, United States
- Mike Hubble, Paramedic, United States
- Hans Huitink, Anaesthesiology, Netherlands
- Eric Hodgson, Anaesthesiology, South Africa
- Samir Jaber, Intensive Care Medicine, France
- Narasimhan Jagannathan, Anesthesiology, United States
- Sachin Kheterpal, Anesthesiology, United States
- Michael Kristensen, Anaesthesiology, Denmark
- Olivier Langeron, Anaesthesiology and Intensive Care Medicine, France
- Richard Levitan, Emergency Medicine, United States
- Zonghao Li, Emergency Medicine, China
- David Lockey, Emergency Medicine, United Kingdom
- Ana Lopez Gutierrez, Anaesthesiology, Spain
- Stephen Lai, ENT Surgery, United States
- Wuhua Ma, Anesthesiology, China
- Jarrod Mosier, Emergency and Intensive Care Medicine, United States
- Mary Mushambi, Anaesthesia, United Kingdom
- Chris Nickson, Emergency and Intensive Care Medicine, Australia
- Reza Nouraei, ENT Surgery, United Kingdom
- Haydee Osses, Anesthesiology, Chile
- Anil Patel, Anaesthesia, United Kingdom
- Toby St Clair, Paramedic, Australia
- Wendy Teoh, Anaesthesia, Singapore
- Arnd Timmermann, Anesthesiology, Germany
- Britta Ungern-Sternberg, Anaesthesia, Australia
- Oscar Valencia, Anaesthesiology, Spain
- Henry Wang, Emergency Medicine, United States
- Scott Weingart, Emergency Medicine, United States
- David Wong, Anesthesiology, Canada
- Ming-Zhang Zuo, Anesthesiology, China
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