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1.  Multimodal system designed to reduce errors in recording and administration of drugs in anaesthesia: prospective randomised clinical evaluation 
Objective To clinically evaluate a new patented multimodal system (SAFERSleep) designed to reduce errors in the recording and administration of drugs in anaesthesia.
Design Prospective randomised open label clinical trial.
Setting Five designated operating theatres in a major tertiary referral hospital.
Participants Eighty nine consenting anaesthetists managing 1075 cases in which there were 10 764 drug administrations.
Intervention Use of the new system (which includes customised drug trays and purpose designed drug trolley drawers to promote a well organised anaesthetic workspace and aseptic technique; pre-filled syringes for commonly used anaesthetic drugs; large legible colour coded drug labels; a barcode reader linked to a computer, speakers, and touch screen to provide automatic auditory and visual verification of selected drugs immediately before each administration; automatic compilation of an anaesthetic record; an on-screen and audible warning if an antibiotic has not been administered within 15 minutes of the start of anaesthesia; and certain procedural rules—notably, scanning the label before each drug administration) versus conventional practice in drug administration with a manually compiled anaesthetic record.
Main outcome measures Primary: composite of errors in the recording and administration of intravenous drugs detected by direct observation and by detailed reconciliation of the contents of used drug vials against recorded administrations; and lapses in responding to an intermittent visual stimulus (vigilance latency task). Secondary: outcomes in patients; analyses of anaesthetists’ tasks and assessments of workload; evaluation of the legibility of anaesthetic records; evaluation of compliance with the procedural rules of the new system; and questionnaire based ratings of the respective systems by participants.
Results The overall mean rate of drug errors per 100 administrations was 9.1 (95% confidence interval 6.9 to 11.4) with the new system (one in 11 administrations) and 11.6 (9.3 to 13.9) with conventional methods (one in nine administrations) (P=0.045 for difference). Most were recording errors, and, though fewer drug administration errors occurred with the new system, the comparison with conventional methods did not reach significance. Rates of errors in drug administration were lower when anaesthetists consistently applied two key principles of the new system (scanning the drug barcode before administering each drug and keeping the voice prompt active) than when they did not: mean 6.0 (3.1 to 8.8) errors per 100 administrations v 9.7 (8.4 to 11.1) respectively (P=0.004). Lapses in the vigilance latency task occurred in 12% (58/471) of cases with the new system and 9% (40/473) with conventional methods (P=0.052). The records generated by the new system were more legible, and anaesthetists preferred the new system, particularly in relation to long, complex, and emergency cases. There were no differences between new and conventional systems in respect of outcomes in patients or anaesthetists’ workload.
Conclusions The new system was associated with a reduction in errors in the recording and administration of drugs in anaesthesia, attributable mainly to a reduction in recording errors. Automatic compilation of the anaesthetic record increased legibility but also increased lapses in a vigilance latency task and decreased time spent watching monitors.
Trial registration Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry No 12608000068369.
PMCID: PMC3178276  PMID: 21940742
2.  Physiotherapy Rehabilitation After Total Knee or Hip Replacement 
Executive Summary
The objective of this health technology policy analysis was to determine, where, how, and when physiotherapy services are best delivered to optimize functional outcomes for patients after they undergo primary (first-time) total hip replacement or total knee replacement, and to determine the Ontario-specific economic impact of the best delivery strategy. The objectives of the systematic review were as follows:
To determine the effectiveness of inpatient physiotherapy after discharge from an acute care hospital compared with outpatient physiotherapy delivered in either a clinic-based or home-based setting for primary total joint replacement patients
To determine the effectiveness of outpatient physiotherapy delivered by a physiotherapist in either a clinic-based or home-based setting in addition to a home exercise program compared with a home exercise program alone for primary total joint replacement patients
To determine the effectiveness of preoperative exercise for people who are scheduled to receive primary total knee or hip replacement surgery
Clinical Need
Total hip replacements and total knee replacements are among the most commonly performed surgical procedures in Ontario. Physiotherapy rehabilitation after first-time total hip or knee replacement surgery is accepted as the standard and essential treatment. The aim is to maximize a person’s functionality and independence and minimize complications such as hip dislocation (for hip replacements), wound infection, deep vein thrombosis, and pulmonary embolism.
The Therapy
The physiotherapy rehabilitation routine has 4 components: therapeutic exercise, transfer training, gait training, and instruction in the activities of daily living. Physiotherapy rehabilitation for people who have had total joint replacement surgery varies in where, how, and when it is delivered. In Ontario, after discharge from an acute care hospital, people who have had a primary total knee or hip replacement may receive inpatient or outpatient physiotherapy. Inpatient physiotherapy is delivered in a rehabilitation hospital or specialized hospital unit. Outpatient physiotherapy is done either in an outpatient clinic (clinic-based) or in the person’s home (home-based). Home-based physiotherapy may include practising an exercise program at home with or without supplemental support from a physiotherapist.
Finally, physiotherapy rehabilitation may be administered at several points after surgery, including immediately postoperatively (within the first 5 days) and in the early recovery period (within the first 3 months) after discharge. There is a growing interest in whether physiotherapy should start before surgery. A variety of practises exist, and evidence regarding the optimal pre- and post-acute course of rehabilitation to obtain the best outcomes is needed.
Review Strategy
The Medical Advisory Secretariat used its standard search strategy, which included searching the databases of Ovid MEDLINE, CINHAL, EMBASE, Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, and PEDro from 1995 to 2005. English-language articles including systematic reviews, randomized controlled trials (RCTs), non-RCTs, and studies with a sample size of greater than 10 patients were included. Studies had to include patients undergoing primary total hip or total knee replacement, aged 18 years of age or older, and they had to have investigated one of the following comparisons: inpatient rehabilitation versus outpatient (clinic- or home-based therapy) rehabilitation, land-based post-acute care physiotherapy delivered by a physiotherapist compared with patient self-administered exercise and a land-based exercise program before surgery. The primary outcome was postoperative physical functioning. Secondary outcomes included the patient’s assessment of therapeutic effect (overall improvement), perceived pain intensity, health services utilization, treatment side effects, and adverse events
The quality of the methods of the included studies was assessed using the criteria outlined in the Cochrane Musculoskeletal Injuries Group Quality Assessment Tool. After this, a summary of the biases threatening study validity was determined. Four methodological biases were considered: selection bias, performance bias, attrition bias, and detection bias. A meta-analysis was conducted when adequate data were available from 2 or more studies and where there was no statistical or clinical heterogeneity among studies. The GRADE system was used to summarize the overall quality of evidence.
Summary of Findings
The search yielded 422 citations; of these, 12 were included in the review including 10 primary studies (9 RCTs, 1 non-RCT) and 2 systematic reviews.
The Medical Advisory Secretariat review included 2 primary studies (N = 334) that examined the effectiveness of an inpatient physiotherapy rehabilitation program compared with an outpatient home-based physiotherapy program on functional outcomes after total knee or hip replacement surgery. One study, available only as an abstract, found no difference in functional outcome at 1 year after surgery (TKR or THR) between the treatments. The other study was an observational study that found that patients who are younger than 71 years of age on average, who do not live alone, and who do not have comorbid illnesses recover adequate function with outpatient home-based physiotherapy. However results were only measured up to 3 months after surgery, and the outcome measure they used is not considered the best one for physical functioning.
Three primary studies (N = 360) were reviewed that tested the effectiveness of outpatient home-based or clinic-based physiotherapy in addition to a self-administered home exercise program, compared with a self-administered exercise program only or in addition to using another therapy (phone calls or continuous passive movement), on postoperative physical functioning after primary TKR surgery. Two of the studies reported no difference in change from baseline in flexion range of motion between those patients receiving outpatient or home-based physiotherapy and doing a home exercise program compared with patients who did a home exercise program only with or without continuous passive movement. The other study reported no difference in the Western Ontario and McMaster Osteoarthritis Index (WOMAC) scores between patients receiving clinic-based physiotherapy and practising a home exercise program and those who received monitoring phone calls and did a home exercise program after TKR surgery.
The Medical Advisory Secretariat reviewed two systematic reviews evaluating the effects of preoperative exercise on postoperative physical functioning. One concluded that preoperative exercise is not effective in improving functional recovery or pain after TKR and any effects after THR could not be adequately determined. The other concluded that there was inconclusive evidence to determine the benefits of preoperative exercise on functional recovery after TKR. Because 2 primary studies were added to the published literature since the publication of these systematic reviews the Medical Advisory Secretariat revisited the question of effectiveness of a preoperative exercise program for patients scheduled for TKR ad THR surgery.
The Medical Advisory Secretariat also reviewed 3 primary studies (N = 184) that tested the effectiveness of preoperative exercise beginning 4-6 weeks before surgery on postoperative outcomes after primary TKR surgery. All 3 studies reported negative findings with regard to the effectiveness of preoperative exercise to improve physical functioning after TKR surgery. However, 2 failed to show an effect of the preoperative exercise program before surgery in those patients receiving preoperative exercise. The third study did not measure functional outcome immediately before surgery in the preoperative exercise treatment group; therefore the study’s authors could not document an effect of the preoperative exercise program before surgery. Regarding health services utilization, 2 of the studies did not find significant differences in either the length of the acute care hospital stay or the inpatient rehabilitation care setting between patients treated with a preoperative exercise program and those not treated. The third study did not measure health services utilization.
These results must be interpreted within the limitations and the biases of each study. Negative results do not necessarily support a lack of treatment effect but may be attributed to a type II statistical error.
Finally, the Medical Advisory Secretariat reviewed 2 primary studies (N = 136) that examined the effectiveness of preoperative exercise on postoperative functional outcomes after primary THR surgery. One study did not support the effectiveness of an exercise program beginning 8 weeks before surgery. However, results from the other did support the effectiveness of an exercise program 8 weeks before primary THR surgery on pain and functional outcomes 1 week before and 3 weeks after surgery.
Based on the evidence, the Medical Advisory Secretariat reached the following conclusions with respect to physiotherapy rehabilitation and physical functioning 1 year after primary TKR or THR surgery:
There is high-quality evidence from 1 large RCT to support the use of home-based physiotherapy instead of inpatient physiotherapy after primary THR or TKR surgery.
There is low-to-moderate quality evidence from 1 large RCT to support the conclusion that receiving a monitoring phone call from a physiotherapist and practising home exercises is comparable to receiving clinic-based physiotherapy and practising home exercises for people who have had primary TKR surgery. However, results may not be generalizable to those who have had THR surgery.
There is moderate evidence to suggest that an exercise program beginning 4 to 6 weeks before primary TKR surgery is not effective.
There is moderate evidence to support the effectiveness of an exercise program beginning 8 weeks before surgery to improve physical functioning 3 weeks after THR surgery.
PMCID: PMC3382414  PMID: 23074477
3.  Practice of preoperative assessment by anaesthetists. 
The practice of preoperative assessment in 24 departments of anaesthesia in Great Britain and Ireland was surveyed. Most departments had no rigid policies governing assessment, and many served several hospitals. There was little evidence that admission procedures of patients scheduled for surgery or the organisation of operating lists took account of the problems encountered by anaesthetists undertaking preoperative assessment. From the participating departments 415 anaesthetists completed a questionnaire of their individual practice. Most (57%) visited at least 80% of their patients preoperatively, but 22% saw less than 50% of patients. The detection of potential anaesthetic problems and the establishment of rapport with patients were highly rated reasons for conducting such visits. Failure to visit was often related to organisational defects within the hospital service, and anaesthetists saw little prospect of improving these defects. The demands created by the needs of preoperative assessment on the one hand, and the need for a rapid turnover of surgical patients and financial stringency on the other, conflict, and this conflict is not easily reconciled.
PMCID: PMC1416463  PMID: 3926208
4.  Survey on Maternal Satisfaction in Receiving Spinal Anaesthesia for Caesarean Section 
This study was undertaken to evaluate patient satisfaction after spinal anaesthesia, which is the most frequently administered anaesthesia in obstetric patients.
A cross-sectional study of patients who underwent caesarean section under spinal anaesthesia in the operating rooms of Hospital Teluk Intan was conducted. Post-operative survey of patients on the day after surgery was conducted by collecting pre-operative and intra-operative data on a constructed questionnaire. Post-operative data, including satisfaction and understanding the anaesthetist’s explanation regarding anaesthesia, satisfaction in receiving spinal anaesthesia and adverse effects, and willingness to accept or refuse spinal anaesthesia for a similar surgery again, were inquired by trained anaesthesia personnel.
A total of 200 pregnant patients, with age ranging from 17 to 45 years, were surveyed: 64.5% Malay, 17% Indian, 14% Chinese and 4.5% others. All (100%) the patients were satisfied with the explanation provided regarding the choices of anaesthesia, but 2% could not concentrate on the explanation because of labour pain. Overall, the average satisfaction with spinal anaesthesia administration was divided into 194 (97%) satisfied patients and 6 (3%) dissatisfied patients. Factors associated with dissatisfaction were inadequate analgesia during surgery and failed spinal anaesthesia. Post-operative complications included spinal headache 5 (2.5%), post-operative nausea and vomiting (PONV) 1 (0.5%), pain at the surgical site 2 (1%) and backache 2 (1%). Furthermore, 177 (88.5%) patients would opt for spinal anaesthesia in future for similar surgery, if required; 16 (8%) would not; and 7 (3.5%) were not sure. The reasons for refusal to receive spinal anaesthesia were as follows: awareness and failed regional anaesthesia.
The patients receiving spinal anaesthesia demonstrated a high rate of patient satisfaction. Ensuring the quality of spinal anaesthesia, improving clinical skill of the anaesthesiologists, and prevention of side effects might improve patient satisfaction.
PMCID: PMC3743982  PMID: 23966825
spinal; anaesthesia; patient satisfaction; caesarean section
5.  Description of local adaptation of national guidelines and of active feedback for rationalising preoperative screening in patients at low risk from anaesthetics in a French university hospital 
OBJECTIVE: To describe the effect of local adaptation of national guidelines combined with active feedback and organisational analysis on the ordering of preoperative investigations for patients at low risk from anaesthetics. DESIGN: Assessment of preoperative tests ordered over one month, before and after local adaptation of guidelines and feedback of results, combined with an organisational analysis. SETTING: Motivated anaesthetists in 15 surgical wards of Bordeaux University Hospital, Region Aquitain, France. SUBJECTS: 42 anaesthetists, 60 surgeons, and their teams. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Number and type of preoperative tests ordered in June 1993 and 1994, and the estimated savings. RESULTS: Of 536 patients at low risk from anaesthetics studied in 1993 before the intervention 80% had at least one preoperative test. Most (70%) tests were ordered by anaesthetists. Twice the number of preoperative tests were ordered than recommended by national guidelines. Organisational analysis indicated lack of organised consultations and communication within teams. Changes implemented included scheduling of anaesthetic consultations; regular formal multidisciplinary meetings for all staff; preoperative ordering decision charts. Of 516 low risk patients studied in 1994 after the intervention only 48% had one or more preoperative tests ordered (p < 0.05). Estimated mean (SD) saving for one year if changes were applied to all patients at low risk from anaesthesia in the hospital 3.04 (1.23) mFF. CONCLUSIONS: A sharp decrease in tests ordered in low risk patients was found. The likely cause was the package of changes that included local adaptation of national guidelines, feedback, and organisational change.
PMCID: PMC2483578  PMID: 10178152
6.  Voluntary reporting system in anaesthesia: is there a link between undesirable and critical events? 
Quality in Health Care : QHC  2000;9(4):203-209.
P Garnerin, quality manager and F Clergue, department head and professor
J-F Sicard, anaesthetist and F Bonnet, department head and professor
Background—Reporting systems in anaesthesia have generally focused on critical events (including death) to trigger investigations of latent and active errors. The decrease in the rate of these critical events calls for a broader definition of significant anaesthetic events, such as hypotension and bradycardia, to monitor anaesthetic care. The association between merely undesirable events and critical events has not been established and needs to be investigated by voluntary reporting systems.
Objectives—To establish whether undesirable anaesthetic events are correlated with critical events in anaesthetic voluntary reporting systems.
Methods—As part of a quality improvement project, a systematic reporting system was implemented for monitoring 32 events during elective surgery in our hospital in 1996. The events were classified according to severity (critical/undesirable) and nature (process/outcome) and control charts and logistic regression were used to analyse the data.
Results—During a period of 30 months 22% of the 6439 procedures were associated with anaesthetic events, 15% of which were critical and 31% process related. A strong association was found between critical outcome events and critical process events (OR 11.5 (95% confidence interval (CI) 4.4 to 27.8)), undesirable outcome events (OR 4.8 (95% CI 2.0 to 11.8)), and undesirable process events (OR 4.8 (95% CI 1.3 to 13.4)). For other classes of events, risk factors were related to the course of anaesthesia (duration, occurrence of other events) and included factors determined during the pre-anaesthetic visit (risk of haemorrhage, difficult intubation or allergic reaction).
Conclusion—Undesirable events are associated with more severe events and with pre-anaesthetic risk factors. The way in which information on significant events can be used is discussed, including better use of preoperative information, reduction in the collection of redundant information, and more structured reporting.
(Quality in Health Care 2000;9:203–209)
Key Words: reporting system; correlation analysis; quality assessment; adverse events; anaesthesia
PMCID: PMC1743544  PMID: 11101704
7.  Pre-operative Anaesthesia visit: Problems and Prospects in a University Teaching Hospital in Enugu, South East Nigeria 
Pre-anaesthetic evaluation is a basic component of safe anaesthetic practice and ends with the establishment of an anaesthetic plan of action for individual patients.
The aim of the present study was to assess the difficulties encountered by the anaesthetist during such visits and suggest ways they can be overcome
Subjects and Methods:
The ‘activity book’ of anaesthetic resident doctors in the hospital was reviewed retrospectively for documented problems they encountered during the pre-operative visit. The problems listed were then subjected to analysis using the SPSS 17.
The commonest problem was the unavailability of the patient for review 73.1% followed by very busy schedule (7.4%) and unfit patients (6.9%)
Anaesthetists still do encounter problems during the pre-operative visit. Exposing such problems creates the necessary awareness for improvement of patient care.
PMCID: PMC3507090  PMID: 23209961
Anaesthetist; pre-operative visit; problems
8.  Co-Operation with Pre-Operative Cardiovascular Monitoring Amongst Children for Chair Dental General Anaesthesia 
The Association of Anaesthetists of Great Britain and Ireland (AAGBI) guidelines Recommendations for standards of monitoring during anaesthesia and recovery state that cardiovascular monitoring for induction of general anaesthesia should include pulse oximetry and non-invasive blood pressure measurement, but recognise that young patients may not co-operate sufficiently to allow this. The aim of this study was to look at levels of compliance possible for pulse oximetry and non-invasive blood pressure measurement, in a population known to be unco-operative with therapeutic interventions.
A retrospective review of 500 records of patients attending for chair dental general anaesthesia was carried out. It was recorded whether pre-operatively pulse oximetry and non-invasive blood pressure measurement had been allowed in addition to the child's age and sex.
Of the children, 52% were male and 48% were female. The age range was 2–15 years. Overall, 448 children co-operated with both pulse oximetry and non-invasive blood pressure measurement. Co-operation appeared to increase with increasing age.
Of the children, 90% were co-operative with pre-operative monitoring. It could easily be assumed that many of these children, who are referred for general anaesthesia because they are less co-operative than their peers, would not allow proper pre-operative cardiovascular monitoring. This does not appear to be the case.
The majority of children, including the very young, attending for chair dental general anaesthesia, will co-operate sufficiently to allow cardiovascular monitoring during induction of anaesthesia, even though the majority will not tolerate exodontia under local anaesthesia.
PMCID: PMC1964070  PMID: 16551421
General anaesthesia; Monitoring; Paediatrics
9.  Crisis management during anaesthesia: difficult intubation 
Background: Anaesthetists may experience difficulty with intubation unexpectedly which may be associated with difficulty in ventilating the patient. If not well managed, there may be serious consequences for the patient. A simple structured approach to this problem was developed to assist the anaesthetist in this difficult situation.
Objectives: To examine the role of a specific sub-algorithm for the management of difficult intubation.
Methods: The potential performance of a structured approach developed by review of the literature and analysis of each of the relevant incidents among the first 4000 reported to the Australian Incident Monitoring Study (AIMS) was compared with the actual management as reported by the anaesthetists involved.
Results: There were 147 reports of difficult intubation capable of analysis among the first 4000 incidents reported to AIMS. The difficulty was unexpected in 52% of cases; major physiological changes occurred in 37% of these cases. Saturation fell below 90% in 22% of cases, oesophageal intubation was reported in 19%, and an emergency transtracheal airway was required in 4% of cases. Obesity and limited neck mobility and mouth opening were the most common anatomical contributing factors.
Conclusion: The data confirm previously reported failures to predict difficult intubation with existing preoperative clinical tests and suggest an ongoing need to teach a pre-learned strategy to deal with difficult intubation and any associated problem with ventilation. An easy-to-follow structured approach to these problems is outlined. It is recommended that skilled assistance be obtained (preferably another anaesthetist) when difficulty is expected or the patient's cardiorespiratory reserve is low. Patients should be assessed postoperatively to exclude any sequelae and to inform them of the difficulties encountered. These should be clearly documented and appropriate steps taken to warn future anaesthetists.
PMCID: PMC1744036  PMID: 15933302
10.  Children's surgery: a national survey of consultant clinical practice 
BMJ Open  2012;2(5):e001639.
To survey clinical practice and opinions of consultant surgeons and anaesthetists caring for children to inform the needs for training, commissioning and management of children's surgery in the UK.
The National Confidential Enquiry into Patient Outcome and Death (NCEPOD) hosted an online survey to gather data on current clinical practice of UK consultant surgeons and anaesthetists caring for children.
The questionnaire was circulated to all hospitals and to Anaesthetic and Surgical Royal Colleges, and relevant specialist societies covering the UK and the Channel Islands and was mainly completed by consultants in District General Hospitals.
555 surgeons and 1561 anaesthetists completed the questionnaire.
32.6% of surgeons and 43.5% of anaesthetists considered that there were deficiencies in their hospital's facilities that potentially compromised delivery of a safe children's surgical service. Almost 10% of all consultants considered that their postgraduate training was insufficient for current paediatric practice and 20% felt that recent Continued Professional Development failed to maintain paediatric expertise. 45.4% of surgeons and 39.2% of anaesthetists considered that the current specialty curriculum should have a larger paediatric component. Consultants in non-specialist paediatric centres were prepared to care for younger children admitted for surgery as emergencies than those admitted electively. Many of the surgeons and anaesthetists had <4 h/week in paediatric practice. Only 55.3% of surgeons and 42.8% of anaesthetists participated in any form of regular multidisciplinary review of children undergoing surgery.
There are significant obstacles to consultant surgeons and anaesthetists providing a competent surgical service for children. Postgraduate curricula must meet the needs of trainees who will be expected to include children in their caseload as consultants. Trusts must ensure appropriate support for consultants to maintain paediatric skills and provide the necessary facilities for a high-quality local surgical service.
PMCID: PMC3488724  PMID: 23075572
Paediatric Surgery
11.  The role of a multidisciplinary pre-assessment clinic in reducing mortality after complex orthopaedic surgery 
This paper describes an audit loop. The aim of this study was to audit the effect of a specialised preoperative anaesthetic assessment clinic after hip and knee arthroplasty and revision arthroplasty.
We studied patients undergoing hip and knee surgery (arthroplasty and revision arthroplasty). We collected data concerning postoperative admissions to the high dependency unit (HDU), intensive care unit (ICU) and post-anaesthesia care unit (PACU) (planned and unplanned rates of admission, length of stay). We also noted mortality.
In the first part of the study (April 2005 to March 2006) we studied 298 patients. All patients were assessed independently by an anaesthetist on the day of surgery. A multidisciplinary preoperative assessment clinic commenced in April 2006. After this date all patients were assessed preoperatively by a multidisciplinary anaesthetic lead team. In the second part of the study (May 2006 to April 2009) a further 1,147 arthroplasty patients were studied. Data were again collected regarding HDU, ICU, PACU and mortality, as noted above.
We found statistically significant (p=0.001) reductions in the admissions to PACU (22% down to 10%) and in mortality (6.1% down to 1.2%) after the introduction of the pre-assessment clinic. There was also a statistically significant (p=0.01) reduction in the HDU length of stay (2.1 days to 1.6 days), ICU un-planned admissions (1.3% to 0.4%) and the ICU length of stay (2.3 to 1.9 days). We estimated cost savings of nearly £50,000 in the second part of the study. This is based on the average decrease in HDU and ICU length of stay.
We recommend the use of a multidisciplinary pre-assessment clinic for complex orthopaedic surgery.
PMCID: PMC3293311  PMID: 22041145
Pre-assessment clinic; Orthopaedic surgery; Audit loop
12.  Bilateral ultrasound transversus abdominis plane block in a patient affected from Menkes disease 
Pediatric Reports  2012;4(2):e23.
This case report demonstrates the utility and safety of ultrasound transversus abdominis plane (TAP) block in a paediatric patient suffering from Menkes disease. Anaesthetists, and particularly paediatric and neonatal anaesthetists, have to make a careful assessment of these patients, who are subjected to frequent surgeries, despite their tender years. These operations are often necessary in order to improve the patient's quality of life as much as possible. The choice of anaesthetic technique must take the particular nature of the disease and the patient's medical history into consideration, while careful preparation and preoperative evaluations make it possible to administer the general or local anaesthetic safely. Official literature on the subject does not provide sufficient information about the use of local anaesthetic techniques. Moreover, the use of ultrasound TAP block in patients affected by Menkes disease has never been published in literature. In our experience, ultrasound TAP block has provided positive results, although the rarity of this childhood disease makes a detailed study difficult.
PMCID: PMC3395981  PMID: 22803001
Menkes disease; locoregional anaesthesia; paediatrics; ultrasound; transversus abdominis plane block.
13.  Effects of preoperative physiotherapy in hip osteoarthritis patients awaiting total hip replacement 
Archives of Medical Science : AMS  2014;10(5):985-991.
The World Health Organization (WHO) claimed osteoarthritis as a civilization-related disease. The effectiveness of preoperative physiotherapy among patients suffering hip osteoarthritis (OA) at the end of their conservative treatment is rarely described in the literature. The aim of this study was to assess the quality of life and musculoskeletal health status of patients who received preoperative physiotherapy before total hip replacement (THR) surgery within a year prior to admission for a scheduled THR and those who did not.
Material and methods
Forty-five patients, admitted to the Department of Orthopaedics and Traumatology of Locomotor System for elective total hip replacement surgery, were recruited for this study. The assessment consisted of a detailed interview using various questionnaires: the Harris Hip Score (HHS), the Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Osteoarthritis Index (WOMAC), the 36-Item Short Form Health Survey (SF-36), and the Hip disability and Osteoarthritis Outcome Score (HOOS), as well as physical examination. Patients were assigned to groups based on their attendance of preoperative physiotherapy within a year prior to surgery.
Among patients who received preoperative physiotherapy a significant improvement was found for pain, daily functioning, vitality, psychological health, social life, and (active and passive) internal rotation (p < 0.05).
Patients are not routinely referred to physiotherapy within a year before total hip replacement surgery. This study confirmed that pre-operative physiotherapy may have a positive influence on selected musculoskeletal system status indicators and quality of life in hip osteoarthritis patients awaiting surgery.
PMCID: PMC4223143  PMID: 25395951
preoperative physiotherapy; rehabilitation; hip; osteoarthritis; coxarthrosis
14.  Effect of preoperative anaesthetic visit on anxiety. 
British Medical Journal  1977;2(6093):987-989.
Anxiety levels measured in patients who received preoperative reassurance about anaesthesia from a member of the hospital staff were significantly lower than those in a control group given no such support. Anxiety levels in patients who read a booklet designed to reassure about anaesthesia were less significantly reduced. Owing to the increasing work load in the operating theatre many anaesthetists can no longer afford the time to visit patients preoperatively. This study shows that either this trend should be reversed or the role of reassurer should be assumed by someone else, possibly the anaesthetic nurse. For optimal effect, the visits should be combined with use of the booklet. Unless such measures are taken, up to three million people each year may be being denied any form of reassurance before surgical treatment.
PMCID: PMC1631741  PMID: 922398
15.  Tobacco Interventions and Anaesthesia- A Review 
Indian Journal of Anaesthesia  2009;53(5):618-627.
Tobacco use is the leading preventable agent of death in the world. It is manufactured on a large scale in India and has a huge international market also. Death toll from tobacco use is on the rise. Use of tobacco is also increasing esp. in developing countries, in teenagers & in women, despite government, WHO and intervention by other statutory bodies. Prolonged use of tobacco or its products, as smoke or chew, endows significant risk of developing various diseases. With advances in surgical and anaethesia techniques & prolonged life expectancy, anaesthetist will be faced with management of these patients. Tobacco consumption affects every major organ system of the body; esp. lung, heart and blood vessels. Perioperative smoking cessation can significantly reduce the risk of postoperative complications & duration of hospital stay. Anaesthetist can play an important role in motivating these patients to quit smoking preoperatively by providing brief counselling and nicotine replacement therapy in reluctant quitters. More of concern is the effect of passive smoking (second & third hand smoke) on non smokers.
This is a review of tobacco & its products, their health consequences, diseases caused, anaesthetic considerations & their role in helping these patients quit smoking Preventing nicotine addiction and improving smoking cessation strategies should be the priority and despite these being only partially successful, strong measures at all levels should be continued & enforced.
PMCID: PMC2900094  PMID: 20640112
Tobacco; Smoking; Passive smoking; Second hand smoke; Health effects; Diseases; Lung cancer; Carcinogenesis; COPD; Anaesthetic considerations; Preoperative advice; Interventions
16.  Keeping vigil over the profession: a grounded theory of the context of nurse anaesthesia practice 
BMC Nursing  2010;9:13.
Nurse anaesthetists in the US have faced continued, repeated challenges to their profession. Regardless, they have met these challenges and have established themselves as major anaesthesia care providers. In this paper we address the research question: How do certified registered nurse anaesthetists (CRNAs) manage the socio-political context in which they provide care for their patients?
Grounded theory was used to explore how nurse anaesthetists protect and promote their profession. Purposive, snowball, and theoretical sampling was used and data were collected through participant observation and interviews conducted at a conference of the professional association, an educational program, by telephone, email exchanges, and time spent in operating rooms and an outpatient surgical clinic. Analysis included coding at increasingly abstract levels and constant comparison.
The basic social process identified was Keeping Vigil Over the Profession, which explains how nurse anaesthetists protect and promote their profession. It is comprised of three contextual categories: Establishing Public Credibility through regulatory and educational standards, Political Vigilance and taking action in governmental and policy arenas, and Tending the Flock through a continuous information loop between local and administrative/political levels.
From our study of the context of nurse anaesthesia practice, it is clear that CRNAs are dedicated to protecting their ability to provide high quality patient care by maintaining constant vigilance over their profession.
PMCID: PMC2912903  PMID: 20633286
17.  Herbal medicine: a survey of use in Nigerian presurgical patients booked for ambulatory anaesthesia 
Utilization of herbal medicines in the preoperative period by Nigerian patients booked for day case surgery has not been explored.
Cross-sectional survey of 60 patients presenting for day-case surgery at a tertiary healthcare institution over a 3-week period in August 2011 was conducted. Using a structured questionnaire, inquiries were made concerning use of herbal medicines in the immediate preoperative period. Socio-demographic characteristics, information on use of concurrent medical prescriptions, types of herbs used, reasons for use, perceived side effects and perceived efficacy were obtained. Data were evaluated using descriptive statistics and Chi-square.
Fifty-two (86.7%) were American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) class 1 while 8 (13%) were ASA 2. Most patients (86.7%) had their procedures done under local infiltration with monitored anaesthesia care (MAC), while 5.0% and 8.3% had their procedures done under regional and general anaesthesia, respectively. About 48.3% of respondents were on concurrent medical prescriptions while 51.7% were not. Forty percent (40%) of patients admitted to use of herbal medicine, all by the oral route, in the immediate perioperative period; 87.5% did not inform their doctor of their herbal use. Types of herbs used included ‘dogonyaro’, ‘agbo’, ‘nchanwu’, and Tahitian noni. Treatment of malaria was commonest reason for use in 29.2% of patients, while cough and concurrent surgical condition were reasons given by 12.5% of patients, respectively. Seventy-nine percent (79.2%) of patients considered their herbal medications effective. Perceived side effects of herbal medication (16.6%) included fever, waist pain and intoxication. There were no variations in use between ASA 1 and ASA 2 patients and none between respondents on conventional medication against those that were not. Variables such as age less than 35 years, female gender, being married and being an urban dweller did not show any significant difference in use.
This survey revealed many patients were on one or more herbal preparations in the immediate preoperative period. In consideration of possible untoward drug interactions between conventional medication, herbal preparations and anaesthesia, doctors (especially anaesthetists) should routinely assess all patients booked to be anaesthetized, especially those for day case surgery. The authors recommend surveys with larger respondent numbers to determine prevalence of use and possible interactions between indigenous Nigerian herbs and anaesthesia.
PMCID: PMC3439280  PMID: 22906201
Herbal medicine use; Ambulatory anaesthesia; Day case surgery
18.  Improving access to preparatory information for children undergoing general anaesthesia for tooth extraction and their families: study protocol for a Phase III randomized controlled trial 
Trials  2014;15:219.
Children can find anaesthesia induction especially distressing and postoperative psychological and physical morbidity are common. Preparation programmes for general anaesthesia (GA) are highly effective in reducing this distress. A Phase II study has already verified the effectiveness of a prototype preoperative GA-coping computer game to help children cope with induction in a dental GA setting. The biggest patient users of pediatric GA services in the UK are children who need to have teeth removed (estimated to be 100,000 yearly). Tooth decay is the most common disease in children worldwide. This study is a Phase III randomized controlled trial (RCT) and will evaluate the effectiveness of the new internet version of this game.
The Phase III RCT will use a double-blind three-armed design. The clinical trial will recruit up to 210 children and will compare the web-based game against standard care and another non-medical game. At least 53 patients in each group will be required for 90% statistical power. Distress will be assessed through an evaluation of the child’s behaviour during the visit and later parental reports of physical and psychological morbidity. The satisfaction of parents and children will be measured; the mode of usage of the web-based game will be automatically recorded and the impact on the service (for example, recovery time and throughput) will be reported.
The Phase III study primary outcome will measure: (1) patient experience: acceptance of anaesthetic induction, child cooperation and distress, reduction of peri- and postoperative morbidity, child and family satisfaction, and (2) service improvement: anaesthetic time and improvement in throughput. Measures will be administered at baseline, at the time of the GA treatment visit, and at 48 hours and one week postoperatively.
This study aims to determine the effectiveness of an online GA-coping game for children and families undergoing tooth extraction under GA.
Trial registration
ISRCTN18265148 (registered 24 November 2013).
PMCID: PMC4229849  PMID: 24919430
General anaesthesia; Children; Preparatory information; Coping; Cognitive behavioural therapy; Role modelling; Early childhood caries; Dental anxiety; Randomized controlled trial (RCT)
Spinal anaesthesia is the preferred regional technique for Caesarean section but failure sometimes occurs.
Aims and Objectives
To determine the incidence of failure of spinal anaesthesia necessitating the conversion to general anaesthesia or the use of supplemental analgesia in women presenting for Caesarean section and to identify the contributory factor(s) to the failure.
Study Design
It was a prospective study of 414 women who had spinal anaesthesia for Caesarean section.
The study was carried out in a University Teaching Hospital in South-Western Nigeria.
Patients and Methods
Women who had single-shot spinal anaesthesia for Caesarean section from April 2010 to March 2011 were prospectively studied using a standard proforma to record details of their demographic, clinical features, surgical and anaesthetic data and outcome.
The failed spinal anaesthesia rate in this study was 6.0%. The experience of the anaesthetist was a significant contributing factor for partial or complete failure necessitating conversion to general anaesthesia (p = 0.02). Intra-operative supplemental analgesic was required in 6.4% of those who had their surgery completed under spinal anaesthesia. Postpartum sterilization, exteriorization of the uterus during surgery, and surgical complications were significant risk factors for partial failure necessitating supplemental intra-operative analgesic.
Spinal anaesthesia conversion rate is high in this study when compared with reports from developed countries. Adequate training for residents in anaesthesia will decrease the failure rate. Parturients undergoing sterilization during Caesarean section may require supplementary analgesia.
PMCID: PMC4170277  PMID: 25452968
Spinal anaesthesia; Complications of spinal anaesthesia ; Caesarean section ; Heavy bupivacaine
20.  A nationwide postal questionnaire survey: the presence of airway guidelines in anaesthesia department in Sweden 
BMC Anesthesiology  2014;14:25.
In Sweden, airway guidelines aimed toward improving patient safety have been recommended by the Swedish Society of Anaesthesia and Intensive Care Medicine. Adherence to evidence-based airway guidelines is known to be generally poor in Sweden. The aim of this study was to determine whether airway guidelines are present in Swedish anaesthesia departments.
A nationwide postal questionnaire inquiring about the presence of airway guidelines was sent out to directors of Swedish anaesthesia departments (n = 74). The structured questionnaire was based on a review of the Swedish Society of Anaesthesia and Intensive Care voluntary recommendations of guidelines for airway management. Mean, standard deviation, minimum/maximum, percentage (%) and number of general anaesthesia performed per year as frequency (n), were used to describe, each hospital type (university, county, private). For comparison between hospitals type and available written airway guidelines were cross tabulation used and analysed using Pearson’s Chi-Square tests. A p- value of less than 0 .05 was judged significant.
In total 68 directors who were responsible for the anaesthesia departments returned the questionnaire, which give a response rate of 92% (n 68 of 74). The presence of guidelines showing an airway algorithm was reported by 68% of the departments; 52% reported having a written patient information card in case of a difficult airway and guidelines for difficult airways, respectively; 43% reported the presence of guidelines for preoperative assessment; 31% had guidelines for Rapid Sequence Intubation; 26% reported criteria for performing an awake intubation; and 21% reported guidelines for awake fibre-optic intubation. A prescription for the registered nurse anaesthetist for performing tracheal intubation was reported by 24%. The most frequently pre-printed preoperative elements in the anaesthesia record form were dental status and head and neck mobility.
Despite recommendations from the national anaesthesia society, the presence of airway guidelines in Swedish anaesthesia departments is low. From the perspective of safety for both patients and the anaesthesia staff, airway management guidelines should be considered a higher priority.
PMCID: PMC3996174  PMID: 24708670
Airway guidelines; Airway management; Patient safety
21.  Usefulness of applying lidocaine in esophagogastroduodenoscopy performed under sedation with propofol 
AIM: To determine whether topical lidocaine benefits esophagogastroduoduenoscopy (EGD) by decreasing propofol dose necessary for sedation or procedure-related complications.
METHODS: The study was designed as a prospective, single centre, double blind, randomised clinical trial and was conducted in 2012 between January and May (NCT01489891). Consecutive patients undergoing EGD were randomly assigned to receive supplemental topical lidocaine (L; 50 mg in an excipient solution which was applied as a spray to the oropharynx) or placebo (P; taste excipients solution without active substance, similarly delivered) prior to the standard propofol sedation procedure. The propofol was administered as a bolus intravenous (iv) dose, with patients in the L and P groups receiving initial doses based on the patient’s American Society of Anaesthesiologists (ASA) classification (ASA I-II: 0.50-0.60 mg/kg; ASA III-IV: 0.25-0.35 mg/kg), followed by 10-20 mg iv dose every 30-60 s at the anaesthetist’s discretion. Vital signs, anthropometric measurements, amount of propofol administered, sedation level reached, examination time, and the subjective assessments of the endoscopist’s and anaesthetist’s satisfaction (based upon a four point Likert scale) were recorded. All statistical tests were performed by the Stata statistical software suite (Release 11, 2009; StataCorp, LP, College Station, TX, United States).
RESULTS: No significant differences were found between the groups treated with lidocaine or placebo in terms of total propofol dose (310.7 ± 139.2 mg/kg per minute vs 280.1 ± 87.7 mg/kg per minute, P = 0.15) or intraprocedural propofol dose (135.3 ± 151.7 mg/kg per minute vs 122.7 ± 96.5 mg/kg per minute, P = 0.58). Only when the L and P groups were analysed with the particular subgroups of female, < 65-year-old, and lower anaesthetic risk level (ASA I-II) was a statistically significant difference found (L: 336.5 ± 141.2 mg/kg per minute vs P: 284.6 ± 91.2 mg/kg per minute, P = 0.03) for greater total propofol requirements). The total incidence of complications was also similar between the two groups, with the L group showing a complication rate of 32.2% (95%CI: 21.6-45.0) and the P group showing a complication rate of 26.7% (95%CI: 17.0-39.0). In addition, the use of lidocaine had no effect on the anaesthetist’s or endoscopist’s satisfaction with the procedure. Thus, the endoscopist’s satisfaction Likert assessments were equally distributed among the L and P groups: unsatisfactory, [L: 6.8% (95%CI: 2.2-15.5) vs P: 0% (95%CI: 0-4.8); neutral, L: 10.1% (95%CI: 4.2-19.9) vs P: 15% (95%CI: 7.6-25.7)]; satisfactory, [L: 25.4% (95%CI: 10-29.6) vs P: 18.3% (95%CI: 15.5-37.6); and very satisfactory, L: 57.6% (95%CI: 54-77.7) vs P: 66.6% (95%CI: 44.8-69.7)]. Likewise, the anaesthetist’s satisfaction Likert assessments regarding the ease of maintaining a patient at an optimum sedation level without agitation or modification of the projected sedation protocol were not affected by the application of lidocaine, as evidenced by the lack of significant differences between the scores for the placebo group: unsatisfactory, L: 5.8% (95%CI: 1.3-13.2) vs P: 0% (95%CI: 0-4.8); neutral, L: 16.9% (95%CI: 8.9-28.4) vs P: 16.7% (95%CI: 8.8-27.7); satisfactory, L: 15.2% (95%CI: 7.7-26.1) vs P: 20.3% (95%CI: 11.3-31.6); and very satisfactory, L: 62.7% (95%CI: 49.9-74.3) vs P: 63.3% (95%CI: 50.6-74.7).
CONCLUSION: Topical pharyngeal anaesthesia is safe in EGD but does not reduce the necessary dose of propofol or improve the anaesthetist’s or endoscopist’s satisfaction with the procedure.
PMCID: PMC3653022  PMID: 23678376
Lidocaine; Propofol; Esophagogastroduodenoscopy; Sedation; Adverse effects
22.  GALA: an international multicentre randomised trial comparing general anaesthesia versus local anaesthesia for carotid surgery 
Trials  2008;9:28.
Patients who have severe narrowing at or near the origin of the internal carotid artery as a result of atherosclerosis have a high risk of ischaemic stroke ipsilateral to the arterial lesion. Previous trials have shown that carotid endarterectomy improves long-term outcomes, particularly when performed soon after a prior transient ischaemic attack or mild ischaemic stroke. However, complications may occur during or soon after surgery, the most serious of which is stroke, which can be fatal. It has been suggested that performing the operation under local anaesthesia, rather than general anaesthesia, may be safer. Therefore, a prospective, randomised trial of local versus general anaesthesia for carotid endarterectomy was proposed to determine whether type of anaesthesia influences peri-operative morbidity and mortality, quality of life and longer term outcome in terms of stroke-free survival.
A two-arm, parallel group, multicentre randomised controlled trial with a recruitment target of 5000 patients. For entry into the study, in the opinion of the responsible clinician, the patient requiring an endarterectomy must be suitable for either local or general anaesthesia, and have no clear indication for either type. All patients with symptomatic or asymptomatic internal carotid stenosis for whom open surgery is advised are eligible. There is no upper age limit. Exclusion criteria are: no informed consent; definite preference for local or general anaesthetic by the clinician or patient; patient unlikely to be able to co-operate with awake testing during local anaesthesia; patient requiring simultaneous bilateral carotid endarterectomy; carotid endarterectomy combined with another operation such as coronary bypass surgery; and, the patient has been randomised into the trial previously. Patients are randomised to local or general anaesthesia by the central trial office. The primary outcome is the proportion of patients alive, stroke free (including retinal infarction) and without myocardial infarction 30 days post-surgery. Secondary outcomes include the proportion of patients alive and stroke free at one year; health related quality of life at 30 days; surgical adverse events, re-operation and re-admission rates; the relative cost of the two methods of anaesthesia; length of stay and intensive and high dependency bed occupancy.
Trial registration
Current Controlled Trials ISRCTN00525237
PMCID: PMC2413207  PMID: 18495004
23.  Crisis management during anaesthesia: obstruction of the natural airway 
Background: Obstruction of the natural airway, while usually easily recognised and managed, may present simply as desaturation, have an unexpected cause, be very difficult to manage, and have serious consequences for the patient.
Objectives: To examine the role of a previously described core algorithm "COVER ABCD–A SWIFT CHECK", supplemented by a specific sub-algorithm for obstruction of the natural airway, in the management of acute airway obstruction occurring in association with anaesthesia.
Methods: The potential performance for this structured approach for each of the relevant incidents among the first 4000 reported to the Australian Incident Monitoring Study (AIMS) was compared with the actual management as reported by the anaesthetists involved.
Results: There were 62 relevant incidents among the first 4000 reports to the AIMS. It was considered that the correct use of the structured approach would have led to earlier recognition of the problem and/or better management in 11% of cases.
Conclusion: Airway management is a fundamental anaesthetic responsibility and skill. Airway obstruction demands a rapid and organised approach to its diagnosis and management and undue delay usually results in desaturation and a potential threat to life. An uncomplicated pre-learned sequence of airway rescue instructions is an essential part of every anaesthetist's clinical practice requirements.
PMCID: PMC1744024  PMID: 15933293
24.  Anaesthesia and airway management in mucopolysaccharidosis 
This paper provides a detailed overview and discussion of anaesthesia in patients with mucopolysaccharidosis (MPS), the evaluation of risk factors in these patients and their anaesthetic management, including emergency airway issues. MPS represents a group of rare lysosomal storage disorders associated with an array of clinical manifestations. The high prevalence of airway obstruction and restrictive pulmonary disease in combination with cardiovascular manifestations poses a high anaesthetic risk to these patients. Typical anaesthetic problems include airway obstruction after induction or extubation, intubation difficulties or failure [can’t intubate, can’t ventilate (CICV)], possible emergency tracheostomy and cardiovascular and cervical spine issues. Because of the high anaesthetic risk, the benefits of a procedure in patients with MPS should always be balanced against the associated risks. Therefore, careful evaluation of anaesthetic risk factors should be made before the procedure, involving evaluation of airways and cardiorespiratory and cervical spine problems. In addition, information on the specific type of MPS, prior history of anaesthesia, presence of cervical instability and range of motion of the temporomandibular joint are important and may be pivotal to prevent complications during anaesthesia. Knowledge of these risk factors allows the anaesthetist to anticipate potential problems that may arise during or after the procedure. Anaesthesia in MPS patients should be preferably done by an experienced (paediatric) anaesthetist, supported by a multidisciplinary team (ear, nose, throat surgeon and intensive care team), with access to all necessary equipment and support.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s10545-012-9563-1) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC3590422  PMID: 23197104
25.  Crisis management during anaesthesia: regurgitation, vomiting, and aspiration 
Background: Regurgitation, vomiting and aspiration may occur unexpectedly in association with anaesthesia. "Aspiration/regurgitation" was ranked fifth in a large collection of previously reported incidents that arose during general anaesthesia. These problems are encountered by all practising anaesthetists and require instant recognition and a rapid, appropriate response. However, the diagnosis may not be immediately apparent as the initial presentation may vary from laryngospasm, desaturation, bronchospasm or hypoventilation to cardiac arrest.
Objectives: To examine the role of a previously described core algorithm "COVER ABCD–A SWIFT CHECK", supplemented by a specific sub-algorithm for regurgitation, vomiting and aspiration, in the management of these complications occurring in association with anaesthesia.
Methods: The potential performance of this structured approach for each of the relevant incidents among the first 4000 reported to the Australian Incident Monitoring Study (AIMS) was compared with the actual management as reported by the anaesthetists involved.
Results: There were 183 relevant incidents of regurgitation, vomiting and aspiration among the first 4000 reports to the AIMS. Aspiration was documented in 96, was excluded in 69, and in 18 it could not be determined whether or not aspiration had occurred. It was considered that the correct use of an explicit algorithm would have led to earlier recognition and/or better management of the problem in 10% of all cases of regurgitation and vomiting and in 19% of those in which aspiration occurred.
Conclusion: Regurgitation and/or aspiration should always be considered immediately in any spontaneously breathing patient who suffers desaturation, laryngospasm, airway obstruction, bronchospasm, bradycardia, or cardiac arrest. Any patient in whom aspiration is suspected must be closely monitored in an appropriate perioperative facility, the acuity of which will depend on local staffing and workload. If clinical instability is likely to persist or if there are concerns by attending staff, the patient should be admitted to a high dependency unit or intensive care unit.
PMCID: PMC1744032  PMID: 15933301

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