Research

A simulation-based study evaluating the preparedness of interns’ post-anaesthesia rotation in managing a failed obstetric intubation scenario: Is our training good enough?

I Kiwalabye, L Cronjé, S Schoeman, T Sommerville

Abstract


Background. Difficult or failed intubation of obstetric patients may be up to 8 times higher than in general surgical patients. A decline in obstetric intubation opportunities may be a contributing factor, resulting in reduced training opportunities for junior doctors, who therefore do not acquire airway management skills.

Objectives. To assess post-anaesthesia rotation interns’ preparedness to manage a difficult/failed obstetric airway scenario.

Methods. We recruited 49 interns, obtained informed consent and individually assessed them on a simulation-based scenario using a high-fidelity manikin. Two independent assessors scored participants using a checklist assessment and a global rating scale. After the simulation-based scenario, participants completed a questionnaire on their internship training, rated the simulation experience and received debriefing. The borderline regression method was used to determine the checklist pass mark.

Results. Analysis showed that 40% of interns passed. Correlation between assessors was strong for checklist scores and global ratings. The main reasons for failing were repeated attempts at intubation and failure to optimise the intubating position or conditions. There was concern regarding the infrequent use of a supraglottic airway device as a rescue. Twenty-eight interns had performed <5 general obstetric anaesthetic procedures.

Conclusions. There are concerns regarding adequate anaesthetic preparation for interns to manage a difficult/failed intubation scenario in a full-term pregnancy. Despite the Essential Steps in Managing Obstetric Emergencies (ESMOE) airway module training, which all interns should receive, a high rate of success was not achieved in this study. Simulation-based training and assessment may be a valuable tool to improve intern training and preparedness.


Authors' affiliations

I Kiwalabye, Discipline of Anaesthesiology and Critical Care, Nelson R Mandela School of Medicine, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa

L Cronjé, Discipline of Anaesthesiology and Critical Care, Nelson R Mandela School of Medicine, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa

S Schoeman, Lead for Assessment, Kent and Medway Medical School, Canterbury, UK

T Sommerville, Discipline of Anaesthesiology and Critical Care, Nelson R Mandela School of Medicine, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa

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Keywords

Obstetric difficult airway; Intern training; Simulation; Maternal outcomes

Cite this article

South African Medical Journal 2021;111(3):265-270. DOI:10.7196/SAMJ.2021.v111i3.14443

Article History

Date submitted: 2021-03-02
Date published: 2021-03-02

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