Mr. Martin Bromiley Citation
Mr Martin Bromiley no longer needs a formal introduction to anyone who is familiar with human safety and human factors.
Martin Bromiley’s life has parallels to James Styner’s life.
In February 1972, James Styner an orthopaedic surgeon crashed his twin engine aircraft, resulting in the tragic death of his wife and serious injuries to his 4 children. The treatment he and his injured children received in a local hospital was so inadequate, he decided to change things for the better. He and his colleagues launched the ATLS in 1978 (Advanced Trauma and Life Support) that has revolutionised care of trauma patients and is saving several thousand lives across the world every year. It is considered the gold standard of trauma care.
It was not a plane crash, but an anaesthetic related event that resulted in the tragic loss of Elaine Bromiley in March 2005. Her Husband, Martin Bromiley, however is an experienced airline pilot and an airplane acrobatic instructor. He reacted to this devastating loss not in anger, not through blame but by calm participation in the decision making process with the other doctors caring for his wife. He had to make the difficult decision of switching off his wife’s life support machine. He asked Professor Mike Harmer to conduct an investigation, to understand what had transpired, that resulted in the loss of his wife. Bromiley insisted that Professor Harmer’s report be made public, “So that others may learn, and even more may live”. Martin Bromiley, from that moment, set out to change the way medicine is practiced in the UK- by using his knowledge of Plane crashes. He founded the Clinical Human Factors Group (CHFG) in 2007 based on the Royal Aeronautical Society Human Factors Group. He is the current Chairman of CHFG, and has brought invaluable human factors lessons to clinical practice. Between flying commitments, he promotes safety in healthcare by engaging with managers, doctors, students and nurses. Due to his ongoing commitment and dedication, healthcare in UK has a new dimension to it- Human factors. This has exposed human limitations and has introduced team working, situation awareness and a culture of openness. This change has made UK, a safer place for delivering healthcare. The work continues and in his own words “it is a duty”, echoing the sentiments of Charles de Gaulle who during the most difficult phase of World War II said “Events impose a sacred duty, I shall not fail to carry it out”
Difficult Airway Society has incorporated human factors into its teaching and practice and has been pioneering change in the way difficult airway is managed in the country by conducting human factors courses.
In recognition of his immense contribution to patient safety and to the healthcare industry in general, Difficult Airway society is delighted to present Martin Bromiley the prestigious Macewen Medal.
Dr Subrahmanyam Radhakrishna
Honorary Secretary, Difficult Airway Society, UK