Airway management is a defining skill for anaesthesiologists. Anaesthesiologists must maintain and update these crucial skills throughout their career, but how this is best achieved remains unclear. This study aimed to clarify anaesthesiologists´ procedural volume, confidence in airway management, and their current and preferred future educational strategies.
A questionnaire was developed consisting of 28 items exploring essential skills in airway management. All anaesthesiologists in the Capital Region of Denmark were invited to participate.
The response rate was 84% (240/285). Most anaesthesiologists felt competent to a high or very high degree in basic airway management. Anaesthesiologists from anaesthesia felt confident to a significantly higher degree than those working in the intensive care unit regarding the practical aspects of airway management in both the anticipated difficult airway (93% vs 73%, p<0.001) and the unanticipated difficult airway (81% vs 61%, p=0.002). Both groups performed most of the key advanced techniques ≤ 4 times yearly, while anaesthesiologists from the intensive care unit had a lower and less diverse procedural volume than those working in anaesthesia. The anaesthesiologists preferred training through their daily clinical work, hands‐on workshops, and scenario‐based simulation training. However, a large discrepancy was identified between the current and the desired level of training.
The anaesthesiologists felt competent to a high or very high degree in basic airway management but the current procedural volume in advanced airway management causes concern for skill maintenance. Further, we found a gap between the current and the desired level of supplemental training.