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.
Review of 489 "anaesthetic deaths" reported to procurators-fiscal over 10 years disclosed only 30 that were thought to justify such reporting. Most of the remainder occurred in patients so desperately ill at the time of operation that death was expected. Postmortem examinations ordered by the Crown authorities in nearly all cases were probably largely unrewarding and mostly unnecessary. The results suggest that the present regulation on reporting should be revised to focus more attention on the few deaths that occur in patients who have no apparent contraindication to anaesthesia or operation.
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.
Ten anaesthetists were asked to make judgments on fitness for elective operation on data derived from 200 patients. The extent of their agreement was measured using a kappa statistic, and clusters of anaesthetists who agreed well with each other were identified. Using an alternative technique, the "true" fitness category of each patient was estimated using a maximum likelihood method which estimated the error involved in making judgments on limited amounts of information. It was possible to compare the performance of each anaesthetist against the consensus and to measure deviation on an "optimism--pessimism" continuum. A simple questionnaire predicted fitness for operation by all 10 anaesthetists in 96% of cases.
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.
OBJECTIVES: To assess the effect of a preprinted form in ensuring an improved and sustained quality of documentation of clinical data in compliance with the national guidelines for sedation by non-anaesthetists. DESIGN: The process of retrospective case note audit was used to identify areas of poor performance, reiterate national guidelines, introduce a post-sedation advice sheet, and demonstrate improvement. SETTING: Emergency Department, Musgrove Park Hospital, Taunton. SUBJECTS: Forty seven patients requiring sedation for relocation of a dislocated shoulder or manipulation of a Colles' fracture between July and October 1996 and July and October 1997. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Evidence that the following items had been documented: consent for procedure, risk assessment, monitored observations, prophylactic use of supplementary oxygen, and discharging patients with printed advice. Case note review was performed before (n = 23) and after (n = 24) the introduction of a sedation audit form. Notes were analysed for the above outcome measures. The monitored observations analysed included: pulse oximetry, respiratory rate, pulse rate, blood pressure, electrocardiography, and conscious level. RESULTS: Use of the form significantly improved documentation of most parameters measured. CONCLUSIONS: Introduction of the form, together with staff education, resulted in enhanced documentation of data and improved conformity with national guidelines. A risk management approach to preempting critical incidents following sedation, can be adopted in this area of emergency medicine.
OBJECTIVE--To investigate the incidence of difficulties associated with parental presence during the induction of anaesthesia in children and the influence of premedication with special reference to vomiting after papaveretum. DESIGN--Mixed factual and multiple choice questionnaire completed by medical and nursing staff and parents during and after admission. SETTING--Teaching hospital with regional paediatric general surgical unit where parental presence during induction of anaesthesia is long established. PATIENTS--151 Children aged 1-14 years who had not previously undergone surgery attending with parents for day stay general surgical procedures. INTERVENTION--Children were randomly allocated to receive no premedication (group 1), oral diazepam elixir (0.3 mg/kg) (group 2), or intramuscular papaveretum with hyoscine (0.3 mg/kg with 0.006 mg/kg) (group 3). No other modification to established day stay routine was made. RESULTS--No major problems were associated with the presence of parents during the induction of anaesthesia. Only 10 of the 141 parents who accompanied their child caused some difficulty, and five became distressed. Premedication with both diazepam and papaveretum resulted in sedation but did not ease induction of anaesthesia. Papaveretum greatly reduced pain and distress immediately after the operation, pain and discomfort being observed in only 15% of children (7/48) compared with 66% (27/41) in group 1 and 49% (22/45) in group 2. Papaveretum, however, must be given intramuscularly, and nurses observed that the children preferred being given premedication orally to intramuscularly. In addition, the incidences of nausea and vomiting were significantly higher in the postoperative ward and at home with papaveretum, although no patient who had been given the drug was nauseous or vomited in the recovery area. The incidences of nausea in group 3 were 62% (31/50) and 57% (27/47) in the postoperative ward and at home, respectively, v 21% (7/33) and 14% (4/29) in group 1 and 13% (5/38) and 14% (5/37) in group 2; the incidences of vomiting in group 3 were 60% and 43% in the postoperative ward and at home, respectively, v 18% and 7% in group 1 and 11% and 11% in group 2. Finally, neither the administration or otherwise of premedication nor the drug given affected the children's or parents' perception of day care surgery. CONCLUSIONS--Difficulties with parents in anaesthetic rooms were not common or severe. Premedication provides preoperative sedation and papaveretum improves the immediate postoperative course but the incidences of nausea and vomiting after operation are higher with its use than without.
Upper gastrointestinal endoscopy is a valuable diagnostic tool, but for an endoscopy service to be effective it is essential that it is not overloaded with inappropriately referred patients. A joint working party in Britain has considered the available literature on indications for endoscopy, assessed standard practice through a questionnaire, and audited randomly selected cases using an independent panel of experts and an American database system. They used these data to produce guidelines on the appropriate and inappropriate indications for referral for endoscopy, although they emphasise that under certain circumstances there may be reasons to deviate from the advice given. The need for endoscopy is most difficult to judge in patients with dyspepsia, and this aspect is discussed in detail. Early endoscopy will often prove more cost effective than delaying until the indications are clearer.
Twelve patients with severe chronic obstructive lung disease undergoing 15 operations were assessed with preoperative lung function tests and blood gas estimations. Their operative and postoperative course was followed. There were no deaths or serious complications. Patients fell into three groups: those with low respiratory capacity but normal blood gases, who required no special respiratory treatment apart from physiotherapy and antibiotics; those with hypoxaemia but normal arterial carbon dioxide pressure, who needed more prolonged oxygen treatment after operation; and those with hypoxaemia and hypercapnia, who needed postoperative ventilatory support. While forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV) is a good screening test in preoperative assessment it should be supplemented by arterial blood gas estimations in patients with an FEV of less than 1 litre.
We present the first reported case of the prophylactic use of lipid emulsion therapy in the removal of an extensive, circumferential malignant melanoma in a morbidly obese patient, under local anaesthetic. The advantages of this technique allowed the patient to avoid intraoperative invasive monitoring and postoperative critical care admission and assisted during the operation by rotating her leg when needed. This is a useful technique that can be employed in urgent cases where there is a need to excise extensive skin malignancies in patients who are unsuitable for general or regional anaesthesia.
AIM: To investigate whether discharge scoring criteria are as safe as clinical criteria for discharge decision and allow for earlier discharge.
METHODS: About 220 consecutive outpatients undergoing colonoscopy under sedation with Meperidine plus Midazolam were enrolled and assigned to 2 groups: in Control-group (110 subjects) discharge decision was based on the clinical assessment; in PADSS-group (110 subjects) discharge decision was based on the modified Post-Anaesthetic Discharge Scoring System (PADSS). Measurements of the PADDS score were taken every 20 min after colonoscopy, and patients were discharged after two consecutive PADSS scores ≥ 9. The investigator called each patient 24-48 h after discharge to administer a standardized questionnaire, to detect any delayed complications. Patients in which cecal intubation was not performed and those who were not found at follow-up phone call were excluded from the study.
RESULTS: Thirteen patients (7 in Control-group and 6 in PADSS-group) were excluded from the study. Recovery from sedation was faster in PADSS-group than in Control-group (58.75 ± 18.67 min vs 95.14 ± 10.85 min, respectively; P < 0.001). Recovery time resulted shorter than 60 min in 39 patients of PADSS-group (37.5%), and in no patient of Control-group (P < 0.001). At follow-up phone call, no patient declared any hospital re-admission because of problems related to colonoscopy and/or sedation. Mild delayed post-discharge symptoms occurred in 57 patients in Control-group (55.3%) and in 32 in PADSS-group (30.7%). The most common symptoms were drowsiness, weakness, abdominal distension, and headache. Only 3 subjects needed to take some drugs because of post-discharge symptoms.
CONCLUSION: The Post-Anaesthetic Discharge Scoring System is as safe as the clinical assessment and allows for an earlier patient discharge after colonoscopy performed under sedation.
Colonoscopy; Conscious sedation; Patient discharge; Recovery room; Complications
Anaesthesia of structures innervated by the mandibular nerve is necessary to provide adequate pain control when performing dental and localised surgical procedures. To date, numerous techniques have been described and, although many of these methods are not used routinely, there are some situations where their application may be indicated. Patient factors as well as anatomical variability of the mandibular nerve and associated structures dictate that no one technique can be universally applied with a 100% success rate. This fact has led to a proliferation of alternative techniques that have appeared in the literature. This selective review of the literature provides a brief description of the different techniques available to the clinician as well as the underlying anatomy which is fundamental to successfully anaesthetising the mandibular nerve.
Removal of genital warts by thermocautery was performed in 108 patients (57 men and 51 women) under topical anaesthesia with a local anaesthetic cream, lidocaine and prilocaine (EMLA). Most men had warts in the preputial cavity, most women had warts situated on the mucous membranes of the vulva, and warts at multiple sites were common. About 1 ml of cream per lesion was applied to the warts for 20 to 105 minutes before the operation. Plastic film (Glad, Union Carbide) was applied over the cream when natural occlusion, such as under the prepuce or on the introitus, was not present. Local pallor was seen in 30% of the patients, redness in 53%, and oedema in 15%, but did not cause any discomfort and were clinically insignificant. Analgesia was sufficient in 96% of the men and in 40% of the women. Additional local infiltration was given to 60% of the women, but was not as painful as injections generally are in the genital area. The analgesic efficacy on women may be further improved by optimising the application time on the genital mucosa.
The management of high-operative-risk patients with a pneumothorax is complicated. The case of a 79-year old man with an intractable secondary pneumothorax, who had taken oral steroids to control asthma, is presented. Since the patient could not tolerate general anaesthesia because of poor cardiac function, thoracoscopic surgery was performed under local anaesthesia. A successful lung fistula closure was achieved and the continuous air leakage disappeared immediately after the surgery.
Pneumothorax; Thoracoscopy; Local anaesthesia
A patient who had shown some evidence of immunological sensitivity underwent several operations under general anaesthesia for otitis media without ill effect. On his second exposure to Althesin, however, he suffered a severe reaction. Facial angioneurotic oedema was accompanied by peripheral vasodilatation and sweating, and C3 conversion was observed in his plasma. Subsequent anaesthetics produced no reactions until four years later, when thiopentone and suxamethonium were given. This reaction was much milder, but C3 conversion again occurred. Although the clinical signs indicated an anaphylactoid reaction, the laboratory findings suggested that this patient had an underlying immunopathological condition involving complement activation, which could be triggered by any intravenous agent that activated complement. The judgment that a reaction to a particular drug is anaphylactic cannot be made on the basis of clinical signs alone. Simple laboratory analysis will show whether the reaction is due to an underlying immunopathological condition that may be triggered by any of several drugs.
A prospective study was carried out in one District Health Authority over a twelve month period to investigate the principal reasons for the postponement of operations on the advice of anaesthetic staff. A mean of 1.4% of all cases listed for general anaesthesia were postponed. The clinical indications for this are described and possible methods for reducing this figure are discussed.
To test the predictive validity of a selection system for Senior House Officers (SHOs) and registrars in anaesthetics, 140 doctors short-listed from 635 applications between 1980 and 1987 were assessed by a semi-structured interview assessed and a personality questionnaire (Cattell 16PFQ-form C). The 62 doctors selected were followed up for between 3 and 8 years. Future performance was predicted from the psychological tests and by the interviewers. Academic, clinical, behavioural, and overall performance were used as criteria of outcome. Correlation coefficients between prediction and outcome measures were statistically highly significant (P < 0.01). Using multiple regression, equations could be derived from five of the Cattell personality factors to predict overall performance. Personality measures discriminated significantly between the best and poorest performers. Interview predictions were also statistically significant (P < 0.01). The method provides a blueprint for the effective selection of junior anaesthetists. Wastage in terms of those leaving the specialty was 16%.
Successful airway management of an infant or child with macroglossia prerequisites recognition of a potential airway problem. We describe our experience with a debilitated 13-year-old girl who presented with severe macroglossia, secondary to lymphangioma of the tongue. Along with the social discomfort she had inability to speak, eat or drink properly and exposure-induced dryness. Such patients are a challenge for the anaesthesiologists due to the anticipated difficult intubation associated with the oral mucosa occupying lesion. It also becomes pertinent to rule out any of the associated congenital anomalies. The importance of a thorough preoperative evaluation and attention to difficult intubation and maintenance of airway is emphasized. We endeavor to review the available literature regarding patient's perioperative management of such patients.
Airway management; Anaesthesia; Lymphangioma; Macroglossia
A 39-year-old male, post nephrectomy and adrenalectomy (right), was planned for adrenalectomy (left) and radiofrequency ablation of left renal mass. Clinical evaluation indicated a possibility of phaeochromocytoma, whereas biochemical parameters were found to be within normal limits. Intraoperatively, massive fluctuations in haemodynamic parameters were noticed while the tumour was being handled. Patient was stabilised with inotropes, vasopressors, fluids and careful titration of anaesthetic agents. Preoperatively diagnosed coronary disease could have complicated anaesthetic care. Optimum and modern anaesthetic care leads to safe execution of surgery.
Adrenal incidentaloma; adrenalectomy; phaeochromocytoma; radiofrequency ablation
All patients who presented to our Accident & Emergency Department over a 6-month period with an acute knee injury were randomly assigned to receive either immediate physiotherapy or not prior to further follow up at an out-patient clinic. Patients with trivial injuries not requiring follow up and patients with severe injuries requiring immediate admission were excluded from the study. Patients not immediately referred for physiotherapy could be referred if this was thought necessary at later follow up. There was no statistical difference in the number of outpatient follow up appointments or the length of time to discharge from the clinic between the groups. Those patients referred for physiotherapy immediately had a significantly greater number of total attendances at the physiotherapy department. However more patients in the 'no physiotherapy' group ultimately required arthroscopy for suspected meniscal injury. We conclude that a blanket referral of all acute knee injury patients is unjustified and wasteful of resources. However physiotherapy may be indicated in patients initially suspected of having meniscal injury.
Background and Aims:
Alpha-2 agonists are being increasingly used as adjuncts in general anaesthesia, and the present study was carried out to investigate the ability of intravenous dexmedetomidine in decreasing the dose of opioids and anaesthetics for attenuation of haemodynamic responses during laryngoscopy and tracheal intubation.
One hundred patients scheduled for elective general surgery were randomized into two groups: D and F (n=50 in each group). Group D were administered 1 μg/kg each of dexmedetomidine and fentanyl while group F received 2 μg/kg of fentanyl pre-operatively. Thiopental was given until eyelash reflex disappeared. Anaesthesia was maintained with 33:66 oxygen: nitrous oxide. Isoflurane concentration was adjusted to maintain systolic blood pressure within 20% of the pre-operative values. Haemodynamic parameters were recorded at regular intervals during induction, intubation, surgery and extubation. Statistical analysis was carried out using analysis of variance, chi-square test, Student's t test and Mann–Whitney U test.
The demographic profile was comparable. The pressor response to laryngoscopy, intubation, surgery and extubation were effectively decreased by dexmedetomidine, and were highly significant on comparison (P<0.001). The mean dose of fentanyl and isoflurane were also decreased significantly (>50%) by the administration of dexmedetomidine. The mean recovery time was also shorter in group D as compared with group F (P=0.014).
Dexmedetomidine is an excellent drug as it not only decreased the magnitude of haemodynamic response to intubation, surgery and extubation but also decreased the dose of opioids and isoflurane in achieving adequate analgesia and anaesthesia, respectively.
Dexmedetomidine; fentanyl; heart rate; isoflurane; mean arterial pressure; pressor response
The study was designed to compare the effect of intraincisional vs intraperitoneal infiltration of levobupivacaine 0.25% on post-operative pain in laparoscopic cholecystectomy.
MATERIALS AND METHODS:
This randomised controlled study was carried out on 189 patients who underwent laparoscopic cholecystectomy. Group 1 was the control group and did not receive either intraperitoneal or intraincisional levobupivacaine. Group 2 was assigned to receive local infiltration (intraincisional) of 20 ml solution of levobupivacaine 0.25%, while Group 3 received 20 ml solution of levobupivacaine 0.25% intraperitoneally. Post-operative pain was recorded for 24 hours post-operatively.
Post-operative abdominal pain was significantly lower with intraincisional infiltration of levobupivacaine 0.25% in group 2. This difference was reported from 30 minutes till 24 hours post-operatively. Right shoulder pain showed significantly lower incidence in group 2 and group 3 compared to control group. Although statistically insignificant, shoulder pain was less in group 3 than group 2.
Intraincisional infiltration of levobupivacaine is more effective than intraperitoneal route in controlling post-operative abdominal pain. It decreases the need for rescue analgesia.
Laparoscopic cholecystectomy; levobupivacaine; local anaesthetics; postoperative pain