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Situation Awareness 

Situation Awareness
Chapter:
Situation Awareness
Author(s):

Christian M. Schulz

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780199366149.003.0007
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date: 25 February 2020

In anesthesia, situation awareness (SA) represents the degree to which an anesthetist perceives the information in her or his environment, comprehends the patient’s situation, and projects the patient’s situation into the future. There are three levels of SA: perception, comprehension, and projection. After perception, basic information has to be integrated, and several cognitive mechanisms enable correct, complete, and quick development of SA. These processes require long-term memory content such as mental models, similar (prototypical) situations that have been experienced earlier, automaticity, and medical knowledge including guidelines and algorithms. Several tools have the potential to provide qualitative and quantitative assessment of SA in anesthesia, including goal-directed task analysis (GDTA) and SA error taxonomy. In this chapter, the role of SA in anesthesia is illustrated, and factors are described that have the potential for either enhancing or hindering the development of adequate SA.

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