Journal of Anesthesia

, Volume 32, Issue 2, pp 263–268 | Cite as

Lessons from the sky: an aviation-based framework for maximizing the delivery of quality anesthetic care

  • Ashley Szabo Eltorai
Special Article


Though aviation is practiced in airplanes and anesthesiology in operating rooms, the two professions have substantial parallels. Both require readiness to manage a crisis situation, where lives are at stake, at a moment's notice and with incomplete information. The determinants of quality performance in both professions extend far beyond knowledge base and formal training. The science of human factors, a prominent cornerstone of the aviation industry, has not yet found the same place in medicine, but it could change the understanding and execution of medical decision-making in profound ways. This article reviews specific components of crisis management and root cause analysis in aviation that can serve as models for improving those same aspects within anesthesiology.


Aviation Crisis management Human factors Root cause analysis Error 




Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Japanese Society of Anesthesiologists 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Yale University School of MedicineNew HavenUSA

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