* Please note that it can take up to three months before you receive the Alert Card from DAS. The ongoing pandemic can potentially cause further delays*
This page details information about DAS Airway Alert Card and Difficult Airway Database. This project aims to provide patients with an 'Alert Card' which carries vital information about 'difficult airway' during an anaesthetic.
Nearly 3 million general anaesthetics are administered annually in the UK. When patients are given general anaesthesia (put to sleep) for an operation, the anaesthetic doctor inserts a device into their breathing passage to enable adequate oxygen supply to the body. This is a vital step and lack of oxygen will result in dire consequences including brain damage and death.
Though majority of these procedures are straightforward, life threatening emergencies can occur while managing a patient's airway and can result serious harm. The difficulty could be anticipated in many cases but this could also happen in an unanticipated situation. More details are available on our website. (http://www.das.uk.com/patient_education) If during your anaesthetic there have been difficulties in managing your airway (Difficult Airway), it is vital that this life saving information is made available during your next operation. This information will help your anaesthetist to conduct your next anaesthetic safely.
What is this project about ?
The idea behind this project is to ensure that critical information about any difficulty encountered during your anaesthetic is readily available to your anaesthetist, if you were to have another anaesthetic. This information can be accessed any time by a registered
medical practitioner in the UK, using the code provided by you
What do I get from this ?
This project will provide you with a card - ‘DAS Airway Alert Card’ which will contain vital information about the difficulty in securing your airway during your anaesthetic and how it was managed. Because of limitations of space we can put only limited information on the card. Full details are kept on a national database and it will be available 24/7 for registered doctors to help plan your future anaesthetic.
What are the benefits of getting the Airway Alert Card ?
You can carry this card, which will be a plastic card (same size as a credit card) and show it your anaesthetist when you go for your next operation. This will instantly alert your anaesthetist about your previous anaesthetic and therefore help manage your next one safely.
What should I do with this card?
Please retain this card safely as this card contains your personal information and medical details. You can take it with you when you visit a hospital. This information will be useful to not only an anaesthetist but also other medical professionals. Some examples where this will be useful are
- When you have a surgery
- Any other medical procedure that involves an anaesthetic or sedation e.g. endoscopy, dental procedures, other invasive procedures like examination under anaesthetic, injections under sedation
- Any emergency admission to a hospital
- Trauma, accidents requiring hospital treatment etc.,
How will my information be used?
Your personal details will be used to print and send you the alert card. The main use of the information about your anaesthetic is to provide a safe anaesthetic for your next operation or procedure. This information may also be used for research purposes in the future. However none of your personal details will be used for research.
Will the data be used for any other purpose?
The clinical information held in the database can be potentially used for future research as it can shed light on what made the anaesthetic difficult. This will help anaesthetists to develop techniques to manage patient’s airway more safely.
For research purposes, only a completely anonymous version of the database will be used. None of your personal information except your age at the time of incident and your sex will be used. You can opt out of this by ticking the relevant box on the consent form.
What information will be available on the internet? Who can access it?
Medical details about your anaesthetic and the difficulties encountered will be entered into this database. There won’t be any personal details available online. Your NHS number will be stored in this database in an encrypted format. The card will have a unique access code which will be used to link your details to this anonymised database. Only doctors from the United Kingdom who are registered with General Medical Council (GMC) will be able to access your details. They will also need your permission (when you hand over this card) to access your record. In exceptional circumstance e.g. when you have lost the card or unable to give permission due to medical reasons, the registered doctors will be allowed to view your details using your NHS number.
Please be assured that we will take all steps possible to hold your details safely and securely.
Will my personal details be available online?
None of your personal details will be stored online. Your personal information will retained securely in an offline database in our office. This is needed to print and post you the DAS Airway Alert Card. We store it to enable us to keep track of the database and re-issue the card incase it is accidentally lost.
Do I have to pay for the service?
No – currently DAS sponsors the cost of running these services. The card is sent to you free of cost. But any replacement cards will incur an administration fee. The Society reserve the rights to change this arrangement in the future.
What happens if I lose the card?
If you accidentally lose your DAS Airway Alert Card you can report it to our office. We will issue you a new card. Your old card and the access code printed on it will become void so that it will be useless should it fall into wrong hands. Please email us at [email protected]
Our contact details for reporting a lost card will be available on our website under the ‘Patient information’ section. PLease remember, the alert card is just a reminder for the doctors to look for more details on our system. Even if you lose the card, you can mention to the doctors that your details are on the DAS system and they can check it using your NHS number.
Where can I find more information?
All information about the Airway Alert Card and Difficult Airway Database are available on our website under ‘Patient Information’ section
Can I withdraw my consent in the future?
Yes. You can withdraw your consent anytime by writing to the Difficult Airway Society (address on our website contact page) and all your details from our database will be deleted. You can also email us at [email protected] with your details.
I was told I have a 'difficult airway' by my anaesthetist in the past. Can I get an alert card ?
Unforutnately we are not able to directly issue an Airway Alert Card as this needs a lot of information from your anaesthetic. We require your anaesthetist to submit this information. However only participating hospitals will be able to submit the information.