Oxford Region Airway Group
The Oxford Region Airway Group was formally convened in September 2004, to provide a forum for anaesthetists in the Oxford Region to advance airway related training, audit and research.
The development of the group began in the mid 1990s, when Dr Mansukh Popat initiated and developed 2 airway training courses, the Oxford Difficult Airway Workshop, and Oxford Fibreoptic Intubation Course. The one day classroom based Oxford Difficult Airway Workshop has run for 10 years, and has attracted more than 500 anaesthetists from the UK and Ireland. The 2 day clinical Fibreoptic Intubation course ran for 5 years from 1997-2001.
In 2004, consultation with Consultants and trainees suggested that there was a hunger for a regular meeting as well as participation at workshops, to allow a forum for anaesthetists to meet, to provide a network of trainers across the region, and to allow trainees to develop audit, research and training across the region. It was decided to bring all these regional activities into the newly formed Oxford Region Airway Group, which would meet 6 monthly around the region for an educational meeting consisting of
1. A national guest speaker for a plenary session on an airway topic
2. A slot for trainees to present airway related research, audit and case presentations
3. A business meeting open to all Consultants and trainees interested in becoming involved in the group
4. To appoint a Chairman to organise these meetings, and Chair the business meeting
Therefore in November 2004, Dr Stuart Benham was asked to Chair these meetings, and Dr Jairaj Rangasami agreed to hold the first ORAG meeting at Wexham Park. This took place, with Dr Ian Calder as the guest speaker, in May 2005.
Airway Training and Courses
To support these courses initially, a group of faculty emerged from the Region, including Dr Chris Frerk (Northampton General Hospital), Dr Hamid Manji (Milton Keynes General), Dr Jon Warwick (Oxford), Dr Ravi Dravid (Kettering General), Dr Vivian Addy (Oxford), Dr Atul Kapila (Royal Berkshire Hospital), Dr Ben Maxwell (Great Western Hospital, Swindon), Dr Stuart Benham (Oxford), Dr Elise Richards and Dr Asima Bokhari (Horton General Hospital). Laterally, Dr Alex Marfin (Oxford), Dr Mike Goodwin (Northampton), Dr Jenny Thompson (Oxford), Dr Jairaj Rangasami (Wexham Park Hospital ), Dr Nick Jones (Great Western Hospital) have become involved.
During these 10 years similar workshops and courses have been requested by the Association of Anaesthetists of GB and Ireland(AAGBI) at their Annual and Winter scientific meetings led by Drs Dravid and Marfin. An annual one day Fibreoptic Intubation seminar hosted by the AAGBI has been running for 6 years now organised by Dr Popat, Benham, and Kapila.
Throughout the region, similar workshops developed to optimise training within the Region. Innovative courses for training were begun for not just the anaesthetists, but also the ODPs (Dr Shaun Scott), and for providing overlap training with ENT and anaesthetic trainees (Dr Shaun Scott and Dr Hamid Manji).
Drs Popat and Benham introduced a ‘Training the Trainers – Airway Management’ Course in 2004 and Dr David Mason (Oxford) pioneered a unique national Oxford Paediatric Difficult Airway Workshop in 2005.
During these 10 years courses based on the original Oxford Difficult Airway Workshop have been replicated across the country, and in Ireland, as well as Europe and Russia.
Audit and Research.
In 2005 ORAG asked Dr Alex Marfin to Coordinate Region wide airway research activities. The remit initially was to try and find out what airway research and audit was taking place across the region, to provide trainees with a list of named Consultants and senior trainees who they could approach to get involved with audit or research. It was hoped that such a position would also be the pivot for any airway research which involved multi centres across the region.
Dr Rangasami set up the ORAG website in 2005, which has details of upcoming meeting, minutes of ORAG business meetings, and now has airway endoscopy training videos(courtesy of Dr Shaun Scott).