The NTASM and the Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists (ANZCA) now collaborate in the collection of anaesthetic-related surgical mortality.
NTASM is notified by the hospital of all deaths that occurred during a surgical admission, see flowchart.
An anaesthetist may be involved when the treating surgeon alerts the possibility of an anaesthetic component of the death. The inclusion criteria are:
- Was there an anaesthetic component to the death : Yes or Possibly
- Was death within 48hrs of last anaesthetic: Yes
In which case, NTASM will send an anaesthetic case form (PDF 1.69MB) to the treating anaesthetist for completion. An Anaesthetist may also self-report a case if they wish.
An anaesthetic case form is:
- completed by the consultant anaesthetist or registrar (under supervision);
- returned to NTASM by email
- de-identified and sent to a first-line assessor (a consultant anaesthetist; different hospital) for anonymous peer review. The de-identified surgical case form is also sent to the assessor.
If a second-line assessment (case note review) is not requested by the first-line assessor, the original anaesthetist will be sent written feedback at this point (and the case will be closed).
If a second-line assessment (case note review) is requested by the first-line assessor (that is, the case needs further investigation OR insufficient information has been provided on the case form then these steps are followed:
- an appropriate second-line assessor is selected;
- medical records are requested by NTASM project staff;
- the second-line assessor reviews the Anaesthetic Case Form the patient's medical records and the first-line assessor's comment, before writing a one-page report;
Note: The review is carried out and the report written in a spirit of sympathetic enquiry;
- the report and relevant feedback is sent to the reporting anaesthetist. The case is then closed, and
- at each stage of the process the reporting anaesthetist has right of reply.