The science of healthcare delivery is a young field, and when the inaugural International Tracheostomy Symposium (ITS) was convened in Melbourne, Australia in 2011, team-oriented approaches to tracheostomy were still in their infancy. While clinicians around the world had been witnessing how fragmented care predisposed to tracheostomy-related adverse events, there was little consensus on how fix the problem.
The last decade has witnessed unprecedented progress in our understanding and management of tracheostomy care. Beginning in 2011, several landmark studies and audits on tracheostomy-related harm became a clarion call for improving the prevailing standard of care. Data revealed that in intensive care units, tracheostomyrelated incidents accounted for up to half of all airway-related deaths and hypoxic brain injuries.
In the past 10 years, tracheostomy- related catastrophic events have galvanized the international community. The most startling realization in the wake of these findings was that most of these catastrophic events were preventable, arising from avoidable shortfalls in education, preventive, or rescue measures. The Global Tracheostomy Collaborative (GTC) emerged with a vision of safe tracheostomy care worldwide for patients through building a learning community that promoted key drivers of improved care. A cornerstone of this effort has been patientcentered multidisciplinary teams.
Austin Health, The Global Tracheostomy Collaborative (GTC) and the Royal Children’s Hospital hosted the 5th International Tracheostomy Symposium (ITS) on October 11, 2019 in Melbourne, Australia. Since the inaugural ITS in 2011 in Melbourne the ITS has grown to become the premier event in tracheostomy care worldwide.
Recommendations for the safe care of patients with altered airways are made by “On the Right Trach” (NCEPOD) and the NTSP. An Interprofessional Tracheostomy Safety Training Day has been run at Fiona Stanley Hospital since 2015. The course provides a combination of lectures, hands-on equipment familiarisation, high-fidelity simulation and debriefing to teach participants about routine and emergency care of patients with tracheostomy and laryngectomy.