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Year : 2022  |  Volume : 5  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 63-64

The airway challenge

Former Professor and Head of Anaesthesiology, Kasturba Medical College, Manipal, Karnataka, India

Date of Submission02-Aug-2022
Date of Acceptance03-Aug-2022
Date of Web Publication16-Aug-2022

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Venkateswaran Ramkumar
“Prakrithi,” D/95-A, Ananthnagar 2nd Stage, Manipal - 576 104, Karnataka
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/arwy.arwy_32_22

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How to cite this article:
Ramkumar V. The airway challenge. Airway 2022;5:63-4

How to cite this URL:
Ramkumar V. The airway challenge. Airway [serial online] 2022 [cited 2023 Sep 21];5:63-4. Available from: https://www.arwy.org/text.asp?2022/5/2/63/353813

As I get ready to hand over the reins of Editor-in-Chief of our 5-year-old Airway Journal to my successor, I look back on the progress made by the All India Difficult Airway Association (AIDAA) since its inception in 2010. All through my professional career, I have been presented with opportunities to do something new. My first thought would often be 'Am I good enough to take on this challenge?'. I thank my colleagues who repeatedly challenged me to bring out the best in me. I learnt one of life's most important lessons – 'Never underestimate yourself. Give your best. At worst, you may fail'.

It was under similar circumstances that my first 'airway challenge' came up. I became the Founder President of the AIDAA at its inception in 2010. The Office Bearers were working in another institution more than 70 km away at Mangaluru. They requested my guidance and I agreed without giving it a second thought as I knew how dedicated all the Office Bearers were. Just as a child learns to crawl and walk with support before (s)he starts to run, the Mangaluru group saw AIDAA through its birth pangs and later held the hand of young AIDAA through its formative years. A strong foundation was laid through the creation of a group of like-minded teachers interested in spreading the message of safe airway management.

Then came the time for a change of President and the consequent move of AIDAA headquarters from Mangaluru to Mumbai. An association will grow in a healthy manner if the baton is handed over to the right person at the right time. Under the Office Bearers based in Mumbai, AIDAA grew from strength to strength. The association came to be recognised nationally and internationally through well-conducted annual National Airway Conferences in all the zones of the country. Under my Chairmanship, 14 members of AIDAA worked very hard on our next 'airway challenge' that culminated in the publication of five Airway Guidelines in 2016. These guidelines received recognition and praise not only from within India but also from many international airway societies that had already published and popularised their own guidelines more than a decade before ours. AIDAA is now poised to publish updates on the earlier five Airway Guidelines. New members have been inducted into the committee to inject fresh ideas.

AIDAA next set its sight on bringing out its own official publication. This dream took shape when the idea of the Airway Journal was floated by our members in early 2018. I was indeed honoured to have been given the responsibility of designing the format and content of the journal as its 1st Editor-in-Chief. That was my third and most formidable 'airway challenge'. I must admit that I took up this responsibility with trepidation. If my colleagues believed in me, I needed to believe in myself! Opportunity knocks just once. And I was ready to answer this knock. I have always believed that good scientific writing and the ability to publish are not inherent in all of us. Speaking for myself, I understood my own postgraduate dissertation only a few years after I completed my own study. The ropes of sound research and publication slowly dawned on me as I grew along with every postgraduate that I guided during my 32-year-long academic career at Kasturba Medical College, Manipal, where I taught until retirement. Just when I thought I knew it all, I became the Editor-in-Chief of our journal. As I started poring over the various manuscripts that were submitted, I realised that many of us are in the same boat. The submissions all carried great ideas, but many were not put down coherently on paper. I must make an honest admission. As the journal grew over the past 5 years and I critically evaluated every article, my understanding of research and statistics improved. The importance of properly articulated scientific writing became clear with every issue of the journal. Senior members of the AIDAA put together a series of articles on 'Medical Statistics', followed by a series on 'Research Methodology' by one of our Editorial Board Members. These two exemplary series of articles were published in our journal over the past 5 years. I sincerely hope our readers benefited from these articles. I certainly did! I grew with every article that I reviewed. I beg the pardon of every author if I overstepped my editorial licence during the review process. The objective was only to make their article read better without changing the main ideas that were legally theirs.

I thank AIDAA for giving me one of the biggest challenges of my life. I believe that the Airway Journal (the only one completely dedicated to the airway) has carved a special niche for itself among the many journals that adorn our speciality. I have learnt that hope emerges just when everything seems lost, joy dawns at the end of painstaking overnight toil and a sense of achievement encompasses when one sees the result of one's tireless efforts. I have done my best in bringing the Airway Journal to a level where it has achieved a wide readership. It appears that my responsibility has always been to nurture any project through its initial years. So is the case with the Airway Journal. Now that our child is ready for even greater achievements, it is time to hand over the reins to my successor with best wishes. I am sure that under my successor's leadership, the journal will not only get further recognition but will also get indexed.

Success comes automatically to those who understand the power of a team. To borrow an old adage,Together Everyone Achieves More. The question of whether the journal is indexed or not always looms large when authors choose the journal where they would like their research to be published. The situation is akin to the proverbial 'chicken and the egg!' Let us all do our bit and strengthen the hands of the Editorial Board by publishing our thoughts and ideas related to the airway in our own journal. This is my sincere appeal to all AIDAA members, senior and junior alike. We need to nurture our baby!

I thank AIDAA for giving me this golden opportunity of steering the journal through its formative years. I hope I have proven worthy of the faith my colleagues had in me. I pray that in the years to come, the Airway Journal will scale even greater heights!


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