The Original DAS Guidelines (for Unanticipated Difficult Intubation) from 2004 have been a great success for the Society, the profession and for patient safety. It was recognised 5 years ago that these would need updating but a view was taken at that time to await the results of NAP4 before rewriting the guidelines. In 2011/12 a group was established to get the project underway.
And so it was that Mansukh Popat (co-author of the original guidelines), Ellen O’Sullivan, Anil Patel, Viki Mitchell, Ravi Bhagrath, Al McNarry and Cyprian Mendonca set to work on a project plan. Nick Woodall and myself were subsequently invited to join the group (once we had started to recover from NAP 4 and had forgotten that we had promised ourselves and our wives that we’d never do anything like that ever again) and so we joined the team. Shortly afterwards Imran Ahmad joined us as well providing a direct link with the main DAS committee.
The new guidelines will be evidence based, as were the 2004 ones and to that end hundreds upon hundreds of new airway related papers (published since 2004) have been identified, reviewed and filed for the team to use. Subgroups have been allocated to review the four parts of the original guidelines (PLANS A-D) and update them so they are fit for purpose for the 21st century. It’s part of our thinking that we are going to try to future proof them as far as possible because, as the last 10 years have shown us, you never know what’s just around the corner!
New equipment, new knowledge & new thinking will all be incorporated, some of it will be welcome, some of it we are sure will be challenging.
The new Guidelines will be launched in November 2015 and there’s a lot of work to do before then. We plan to post updates on developing themes on the DAS website to keep the membership updated - any and all thoughts will be welcome as these will be the Societies Guidelines and belong to all of us, the views of you (the membership) are crucial in ensuring their successful development and subsequent adoption into practice. The Intubation Guidelines group can be contacted via email sent to [email protected]
Chris Frerk, on behalf of the DAS Intubation Guidelines group