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Skill Maintenance in Retrieval Airway Management


Nicole Ghedina / Andrew Hooper
Royal Flying Doctor Service - Western Operations


Dr Nicole Ghedina - MBBS Hons MPHTM FACEM Grad Cert AeroMed
Staff specialist, RFDS Western Operations



Airway management is an infrequent event in contemporary Australasian Aeromedical Retrieval, occurring in approximately 4 in 1000 retrieval tasks in reported fixed wing aeromedical provider registry data.

Erosion of mastery is a risk for Aeromedical Practitioners. Options for skills maintenance include both systems and practitioner driven methods. System measures include audit of practice with peer review, scheduled rehearsal, checklists, guidelines and protocols. Individual methods include self monitoring and logbook, simulation training, up skilling rotations to alternate settings and course based skills training.

This presentation reviews the known literature around skill degradation in occasional intubators and summarises the contemporary options for skill maintenance.

In 2016, RFDS Western Operations introduced a suite of changes to our process of emergency intubation including structured team based training, checklists, structured protocols and audit of practice.

A review of the effectiveness of the implementation of these systems changes within the RFDSWA as measured by airway audit data and staff survey is presented.



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