Above & Beyond supporters have funded vital equipment for a new innovative cross-speciality airway team – the Difficult Airways Response Team (DART).

Using the state-of-the-art equipment, the DART will provide multi-specialist support at a patient’s bedside during an airway emergency much quicker than ever before.

The team is made up of an ENT (ear, nose and throat) doctor, a maxillofacial doctor and an anaesthetist. They are able to respond immediately to a call at the location of the emergency.

Where before the equipment needed would need to be taken from a theatre and transported to the location of the emergency, the new equipment is easily carried in a rucksack.

Since the team was formed earlier this year, they have responded to five emergencies – all with a positive outcome.

Rachel McKendry, part of the DART, said: “When there’s an emergency involving a patient’s airway, particularly if there are complex contributing factors, you need a range of specialist staff at the same time and as quickly as possible.

“In the past, it hasn’t always been easy to ensure all the necessary colleagues are present immediately, especially in the middle of an emergency.

“Once the service has been up and running for a while, and we feel qualified to do so, we’d love to create a DART education course designed to help other centres set up their own teams.”