Table of Contents
Journal of Anesthesiology
Volume 2014, Article ID 703820, 4 pages
Clinical Study

An Audit of Fibreoptic Intubation Training Opportunities in a UK Teaching Hospital

1Department of Anaesthesia, Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Royal Hallamshire Hospital, Glossop Road, Sheffield S10 2JF, UK
2Consultant Anaesthetist, Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust, Nottingham NG7 2UH, UK

Received 18 June 2013; Revised 22 August 2013; Accepted 25 August 2013; Published 2 January 2014

Academic Editor: Thomas Engelhardt

Copyright © 2014 M. D. Wiles et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Airway management is the foundation upon which anaesthesia is built, and fibreoptic intubation (FOI) is a key facet of this skill. Despite this, many trainee anaesthetists in the UK have been unable to perform sufficient FOIs to gain competence. We aimed to establish the incidence of FOI in adult patients, in a UK teaching hospital, in order to determine what FOI training opportunities actually exist. During the study period (from October 1st, 2008, to September 30th, 2009) an estimated 11 712 general anaesthetics were undertaken that necessitated tracheal intubation. In 141 of these cases FOIs were performed giving an incidence of FOI of 1.2% (95% confidence interval 1%–1.4%). Of these, 86 (61%) were in awake and 55 (39%) in anaesthetised patients. Only 16 (11%) of the FOIs were done solely for the purposes of training. We suggest that a greater number of FOIs should be undertaken to allow trainees to gain and consultants to maintain the FOI expertise necessary for the provision of safe anaesthesia.