Citation for Professor Mansukh Popat,
DAS Macewen Medal November 2014
Mansukh was born in Uganda and went to Baroda Medical College in India. He came to the UK in 1981 and worked as an SHO in anesthesia in Pontefract and Manchester and a registrar in Portsmouth. He was a senior registrar in Oxford and Northampton during which he spent a year in Dallas and in 1992, he was appointed as a consultant anaesthetist in Oxford.
I first met Mansukh in 1999 through obstetric anaesthesia when he was on the OAA committee. However, I soon realized than his passion was truly in airway management.
What distinguishes Mansukh is his dedication to teaching airway skills, and in particular fibreoptic skills having accomplished more than 900 awake fibreoptic intubations. In 1998 he started the Oxford fibreoptic training programme, and to date, 21 fellows have completed six monthly modules. In 1999 he started the Oxford Difficult Airway Workshops, and his model of running airway workshops has been followed by many hospitals in the UK including our own in Leicester. He invented the Oxford Fibreoptic Training Box , which enables anaesthetists to learn manual dexterity in handling flexible fibrescopes, and it is used at many airway workshops in the UK. He is a founder member and previous chairman of the Oxford Region Airway Group (ORAG). This group assures service, training (through extensive web-based teaching videos and slides) and collaborative research in airway management across the Oxford Region. In 2004, he introduced ‘Teaching the Trainers’ course followed in 2005 by the Oxford Paediatric Difficult Airway Workshop. He has provided advice to anaesthetists on how to set up training workshops in airway management in India, South Africa, Nepal, Russia and Hungary.
Mansukh has been an active member of the Difficult Airway Society (DAS). In 2002, he was appointed President of DAS and during his leadership, DAS membership increased to 1,300. I was fortunate to work with him as secretary of DAS during his term as president and benefited immensely from his wisdom. Mansukh has been involved in all the current DAS airway guidelines. He co- authored the DAS unanticipated difficult airway guidelines, chaired and published the first ever national guidelines on safe extubation and was a member of the paediatric difficult airway guidelines. He is currently involved in the OAA/DAS obstetric difficult airway guidelines. He was awarded the DAS Professorship (2013) in recognition of clinical excellence, significant publication record and international recognition in the field of airway management.
Mansukh has published extensively with over 40 publications in peer reviewed journals. Two of his publications (i) The Difficult Airway Society guidelines for the management of unanticipated difficult airway ( Henderson et al 2004) and (ii) The Difficult Airway Society guidelines for the management of tracheal extubation (Popat 2 et al 2012) were awarded certificates for ‘one of the top ten most read original articles’ in Anaesthesia, with the unanticipated guidelines paper being downloaded more than 8,000 times. He has written chapters in several books, the latest being ‘The Difficult Airway’ chapter with Robin Russell in the fifth edition of Chestnut’s Obstetric Anaesthesia textbook. He is the sole author of the book ‘Practical Fibreoptic Intubation’. He is editor/author of ‘Difficult Airway Management’ and a unique feature of this book is the website link, which provides readers with interactive learning by watching slides/videos of airway techniques. It was awarded 1st prize BMA Medical Books (Anaesthesia section) in 2010. He was co-author/editor of ‘Understanding Anaesthesia’, a book which is recommended reading on national Operating Department Practitioner courses. He was co-author of the chapter ‘Fibreoptic Intubation’ - in Core Topics in Airway Management and of two chapters in the NAP4 report.
In 2009, he was elected as a member of Council of Association of Anaesthetists of Great Britain and Ireland (AAGBI) and served on the safety/standards and research committees, and the editorial board of Anaesthesia. In the last 12 years, he was an invited speaker at 35 national and 5 international meetings.
Despite his great achievements, Mansukh is an extremely approachable person and carries not the slightest hint of arrogance. He has been a great support for many trainees and colleagues and it is truly a pleasure for the Difficult Airway Society to confer the Macewen medal to him for his outstanding contribution to promoting safe airway management through teaching others.
Dr Mary Mushambi
Consultant Anaesthetist, Coventry