Human Factors Investigation of Airway Management Incidents Fills in Event Report Gaps

July 24, 2013 | Risk Management News

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Giving anesthesiologists the opportunity to discuss the human factors involved in serious airway management events provided greater understanding about the event than what could be learned from an incident report, says a study appearing in the August 2013 issue of Anaesthesia. Human factors include various environmental, technical, organizational, psychological, and physiological influences that can affect human performance. The researchers developed an interview tool to investigate the human factors affecting airway management events reported to a project of the United Kingdom’s Royal College of Anaesthetists and the Difficult Airway Society. The project collected case reports of complications related to airway management. Although the data form had a question on contributing factors to the event, which could have included human factors, human factors were present in only 40% of cases submitted and were identified as a major contributor to the poor outcome in 25% of that subset.

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