Backgound and objective A postal survey was conducted in order to investigate current practice in airway management amongst Dutch anaesthetists and to investigate the role of recent training and the role of an ‘Access to the Airway’ airway management course.
Methods A questionnaire containing 27 questions was sent to all practising anaesthetists in The Netherlands. Questionnaires were returned anonymously and were analysed using the Pearson χ2-test (P < 0.05) with the SPSS® version 8.0 statistical software program.
Results The response rate was 42%. Of the respondents, 78% claim often or always to assess the expected degree of difficulty in tracheal intubation as part of routine preoperative assessment. The American Society of Anesthesiologist’s Difficult Airway Algorithm was used by 19% of respondents. A wide variety of airway management techniques is being used. In 36% of all general anaesthetics a laryngeal mask airway is used. In 1.1% of all general anaesthetics tracheal intubation is performed with the flexible fibrescope.
Conclusions Dutch anaesthetists, who commenced anaesthetic training after 1988, and those who attended the airway management course ‘Access to the Airway’ are significantly more likely to follow the American Society of Anesthesiologist’s Difficult Airway Algorithm and to use adjunctive techniques for airway management.