Documentation and Dissemination of Preoperative Findings and Test Resilts
The reliable documentation and dissemination of the preoperative findings and test results should be standardized (17), particularly at institutions where anesthetists often make preoperative evaluations on patients which are later anesthetized by other operators. Furthermore, when difficulties with airway management (AM) are obvious, the anesthetist should carefully inform the patient about the risks and advantages of the various procedures proposed and obtain written informed consent for the arranged strategy of AM and in case of failure, for the backup plan (17).
Mark and Spencer (14) place particular emphasis on an in-hospital medic alert system. Based on their experiences, dissemination of difficult airway (DA) information after hospital admission of the patient is best ensured by the attachment of an alert label on the cover of the medical record and placing the preoperative evaluation protocol, with precise documentation of the findings and test results, instructions for patient care and preparations for the normal ward and the preoperative admission area, and the informed consent for the planned strategies of AM, right in front the medical record. In addition, a color-coded alert wrist band should accompany the patient during the preoperative period, unless the DA is disproved.
Recommendations of the Austrian Working Group for Airway Management
We recommend the reliable and detailed documentation of DA information on the preoperative evaluation protocol. We further emphazise the implementation of an in-hospital medic alert system after hospital admission of the patient including attachment of an alert label on the cover of the medical record, placing the preoperative evaluation protocol right in front the medical record, and supplying the patient with a color-coded alert wrist band.
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