Anaesthetic incident reporting
We take reports of adverse events and outcomes very seriously. Our Safety and Quality Committee reviews all reports and, when necessary, will issue advice or guidance to anaesthetists regarding the use of particular drugs, agents, devices and equipment in anaesthesia practice.
webAIRS stands for web-based anaesthetic incident reporting system. It's an online reporting tool available to all anaesthetic departments in Australia and New Zealand. The system was developed by the Australian and New Zealand Tripartite Anaesthetic Data Committee (ANZTADC).
The ANZTADC's mission is to improve the safety and quality of anaesthesia for patients in Australia and New Zealand by providing an enduring capability to capture, analyse and disseminate information about incidents (de-identified) relative to the safety and quality of anaesthesia in each country.
webAIRS can also be used to provide a means of recording incidents in departments as an alternative to paper-based systems. e-health compliant Anaesthetic Recording System data can be shared electronically with webAIRS. If you're participating in our CPD program, you can receive two credits per hour under the practice evaluation activity for reporting incident data in webAIRS.
Safety of Anaesthesia reports
Our Mortality Subcommittee publishes triennial reports on anaesthesia-related mortality in Australia and New Zealand.
Older reports are available on request.
Adverse events related to medicines and medical devices
Adverse events related to side effects of medicines and vaccines, or problems or incidents involving medical devices, are reported to the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) in Australia and to MedSafe in New Zealand. Where they identify a safety concern, they inform health professionals and consumers through alerts and articles in publications.
Reporting anaesthesia-related mortality
The process for reporting anaesthesia-related mortality depends on where you are. Find out how to make a report in your jurisdiction.
The Perioperative Mortality Review Committee (POMRC) is an independent statutory committee that reviews and reports on perioperative deaths in New Zealand and advises the Health Quality & Safety Commission (HQSC) on how to reduce that number.
POMRC defines ‘perioperative death’ as deaths that occur during surgery; within 30 days of surgery; after 30 days of surgery, but before discharge from hospital; or while under the care of a surgeon in hospital, even if surgery was not undertaken.
For the purposes of POMRC’s definition of perioperative death, a surgery (or operative procedure) refers to any procedure requiring sedation or anaesthetic (local, regional or general).
Australian Capital Territory
The ACT Audit of Surgical Mortality (ACTASM) is an audit process that provides an independent, external peer review, that is systematic, objective and confidential. The purpose of ACTASM is to review all deaths that occur during an episode of surgical care and to provide opportunities for improvements in patient outcomes.
The ACTASM and ANZCA collaborate in the collection of anaesthetic-related surgical mortality. ACTASM is notified by the hospital of all deaths that occurred during a surgical admission, and an anaesthetist may be involved when the treating surgeon alerts the possibility of an anaesthetic component of the death.
New South Wales
The Special Committee Investigating Deaths Under Anaesthesia (SCIDUA) reviews deaths which occur while under, as a result of, or within 24 hours following the administration of anaesthesia or sedation for procedures of a medical, surgical, dental or investigative nature.
The SCIDUA is an expert committee appointed by the Secretary, NSW Health, under delegation by the Minister for Health. Its Terms of Reference are to subject all deaths occurring while under, as a result of, or within 24 hours after the administration of anaesthesia or sedation to peer review so as to identify any areas of clinical management where alternative methods could have led to a more favourable result.
The Northern Territory Audit of Surgical Mortality (NTASM) is an external, independent, peer review audit of the process of care associated with surgically related deaths in the territory.
The college and NTASM collaborate in the collection of anaesthetic-related surgical mortality. In cases where the possibility of an anaesthetic component of the death is identified, NTASM will send an anaesthetic case form to the treating anaesthetist for completion. An anaesthetist may also self-report a case if they wish.
The Queensland Perioperative and Periprocedural Anaesthetic Mortality Review Committee (QPPAMRC) collects and analyses clinical information regarding perioperative and periprocedural anaesthetic mortality in Queensland to identify statewide specific trends.
The committee functions collaboratively with the Statewide Anaesthesia and Perioperative Care Clinical Network (SWAPNET), other related networks and the Private Hospitals Association of Queensland.
The role of the South Australian Anaesthetic Mortality Committee (SAAMC) is to analyse adverse event information, specifically patient mortality, from health services related to anaesthesia with the objective of recommending quality improvement initiatives.
The South Australian Audit of Surgical Mortality (SAASM) has expanded surgical mortality audits to include a collaboration with the SAAMC. Where information provided by treating surgeons as part of the surgical mortality audit process identifies a potential anaesthetic component to the death of the patient, such cases are referred on to the SAAMC on a monthly basis for further anaesthetic assessment.
The documents below provide information and guidance on reporting deaths within 48 hours of an anaesthetic in South Australia, and the assessment of that report by the SAAMC:
The Tasmanian Audit of Anaesthesia Mortality (TAAM) operates in conjunction with, and under the governance of, the Tasmanian Audit of Surgical Mortality (TASM). The TASM sends a Surgical Case form to the treating surgeon or anaesthetist involved in the particular case.
The Victorian Perioperative Consultative Council (VPCC) oversees, reviews and monitors perioperative care in Victoria to improve outcomes for patients before, during and after surgery. All cases relating to perioperative mortality and morbidity, including surgical and anaesthetic, are reviewed by the VPCC.
The Western Australian Anaesthetic Mortality Committee (WAAMC) analyses adverse event information, specifically patient mortality, from health services related to anaesthesia with the objective of recommending quality improvement initiatives.
The documents below provide information and guidance on reporting deaths within 48 hours of an anaesthetic in WA, and the assessment of that report by the WAAMC:
If you're aware of a safety issue in your hospital or you are interested in safety and quality issues, please contact us.
Australian Capital Territory Audit of Surgical Mortality
The ACT Audit of Surgical Mortality (ACTASM) is an audit process that provides an independent, external peer review, that is systematic, objective and confidential.
Find out more
Reporting of Anaesthetic Mortality in WA
Reporting of Anaesthetic Mortality in WA
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Regional mortality committees
Expert committees who work with jurisdictional health authorities and health services. They analyse adverse event information related to anaesthesia, with the objective of recommending quality improvement initiatives.
Find out more