Movies could replace anaesthetic for child radiotherapy

Children with cancer could be spared dozens of doses of general anaesthesia by projecting a video directly on to the inside of a radiotherapy machine during treatment | OnMedica


The new research was presented this week at the ESTRO 36 conference (European Society for Radiotherapy & Oncology), taking place in Vienna, Austria.

Catia Aguas, a radiation therapist and dosimetrist at the Cliniques Universitaires Saint Luc, Brussels, Belgium, told the conference that using video instead of general anaesthesia is less traumatic for children and their families, as well as making each treatment quicker and more cost effective.

The study included 12 children aged between one and a half and six years old who were treated with radiotherapy using a Tomotherapy® treatment unit at the university hospital. Six were treated before a video projector was installed in 2014 and six were treated after.

Before the video was available, general anaesthesia was needed for 83% of children’s treatments. Once the projector was installed, anaesthesia was only needed in 33% of treatments.

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Airway management for Cesarean delivery performed under general anesthesia

Rajagopalan S, et al. (2017) International Journal of Obstetric Anesthesia. 29(3) pp. 64-9

Introduction: With the increasing popularity of neuraxial anaesthesia, there has been a decline in the use of general anaesthesia for Caesarean delivery. These authors sought to examine the incidence, outcome and characteristics associated with a failed airway in patients undergoing Caesarean delivery under general anaesthesia.

Conclusions: The authors conclude that advances in adjunct airway equipment, availability of an experienced anaesthetist and simulation-based teaching of failed airway management in obstetrics may have contributed to their improved maternal outcomes in patients undergoing Caesarean delivery under general anaesthesia.

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Impact of spinal anaesthesia vs. general anaesthesia on peri-operative outcome in lumbar spine surgery

Meng, T. et al. (2017) Anaesthesia. 72(3) pp. 391-401

Introduction: The authors systematically reviewed the comparative evidence for the use of spinal anaesthesia versus general anaesthesia for lumbar spinal surgery.

Results: Eight studies with a total of 625 patients were included. These were considered to be at high risk of bias. Compared with general anaesthesia, the risk ratio (95% confidence interval [CI]) with spinal anaesthesia for intraoperative hypertension was 0.31 (0.15 to 0.64), I2 = 0% (p=0.002); for intraoperative tachycardia 0.51 (0.30 to 0.84), I2 = 0% (p=0.009); for analgesic requirement in the post-anaesthesia care unit 0.32 (0.24 to 0.43), I2 = 0% (p<0.0001); and for nausea/vomiting within 24 hours postoperatively 0.29 (0.18 to 0.46), I2 = 12% (p<0.00001). The standardised mean difference (95% CI) for hospital stay was -1.15 (–1.98 to –0.31), I2 = 89% (p=0.007). There was no evidence of a difference in intraoperative hypotension and bradycardia, blood loss, surgical time and analgesic requirement within 24 hours postoperatively or nausea/vomiting in the post-anaesthesia care unit.

Conclusions: The authors conclude that spinal anaesthesia appears to offer advantages over general anaesthesia for lumbar spine surgery.

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Choice of Anesthesia for Cesarean Delivery

Juang, J. et al. Anesthesia & Analgesia. Published online: January 16 2017

L0028350 An anaesthetist standing, his equipment behind him. Colour l

Image source: Virginia Powell – Wellcome Images // CC BY-NC-ND 4.0

Neuraxial anesthesia use in cesarean deliveries (CDs) has been rising since the 1980s, whereas general anesthesia (GA) use has been declining.

In this brief report we analyzed recent obstetric anesthesia practice patterns using National Anesthesiology Clinical Outcomes Registry data. Approximately 218,285 CD cases were identified between 2010 and 2015. GA was used in 5.8% of all CDs and 14.6% of emergent CDs.

Higher rates of GA use were observed in CDs performed in university hospitals, after hours and on weekends, and on patients who were American Society of Anesthesiologists class III or higher and 18 years of age or younger.

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Anesthesia Technique and Mortality after Joint Replacement

Perlas, A; Chan, V. W.S; & Beattie, S.  Anesthesia Technique and Mortality after Total Hip or Knee Arthroplasty: A Retrospective, Propensity Score–matched Cohort Study. Anesthesiology  October 2016, Vol.125, 724-731

Background: This propensity score–matched cohort study evaluates the effect of anesthetic technique on a 30-day mortality after total hip or knee arthroplasty.

Methods: All patients who had hip or knee arthroplasty between January 1, 2003, and December 31, 2014, were evaluated. The principal exposure was spinal versus general anesthesia. The primary outcome was 30-day mortality. Secondary outcomes were (1) perioperative myocardial infarction; (2) a composite of major adverse cardiac events that includes cardiac arrest, myocardial infarction, or newly diagnosed arrhythmia; (3) pulmonary embolism; (4) major blood loss; (5) hospital length of stay; and (6) operating room procedure time. A propensity score–matched-pair analysis was performed using a nonparsimonious logistic regression model of regional anesthetic use.

Results: We identified 10,868 patients, of whom 8,553 had spinal anesthesia and 2,315 had general anesthesia. Ninety-two percent (n = 2,135) of the patients who had general anesthesia were matched to similar patients who did not have general anesthesia. In the matched cohort, the 30-day mortality rate was 0.19% (n = 4) in the spinal anesthesia group and 0.8% (n = 17) in the general anesthesia group (risk ratio, 0.42; 95% CI, 0.21 to 0.83; P = 0.0045). Spinal anesthesia was also associated with a shorter hospital length of stay (5.7 vs. 6.6 days; P < 0.001).

Conclusions: The results of this observational, propensity score–matched cohort study suggest a strong association between spinal anesthesia and lower 30-day mortality, as well as a shorter hospital length of stay, after elective joint replacement surgery.

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Neuraxial vs general anaesthesia for total hip and total knee arthroplasty: a systematic review of comparative-effectiveness research

Johnson, R. L. et al. British Journal of Anaesthesia. (2016) 116 (2): 163-176.

Background: This systematic review evaluated the evidence comparing patient-important outcomes in spinal or epidural vs general anaesthesia for total hip and total knee arthroplasty.

Methods: MEDLINE, Ovid EMBASE, EBSCO CINAHL, Thomson Reuters Web of Science, and the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials from inception until March 2015 were searched. Eligible randomized controlled trials or prospective comparative studies investigating mortality, major morbidity, and patient-experience outcomes directly comparing neuraxial (spinal or epidural) with general anaesthesia for total hip arthroplasty, total knee arthroplasty, or both were included. Independent reviewers working in duplicate extracted study characteristics, validity, and outcomes data. Meta-analysis was conducted using the random-effects model.

Results: We included 29 studies involving 10 488 patients. Compared with general anaesthesia, neuraxial anaesthesia significantly reduced length of stay (weighted mean difference −0.40 days; 95% confidence interval −0.76 to −0.03; P=0.03; I2 73%; 12 studies). No statistically significant differences were found between neuraxial and general anaesthesia for mortality, surgical duration, surgical site or chest infections, nerve palsies, postoperative nausea and vomiting, or thromboembolic disease when antithrombotic prophylaxis was used. Subgroup analyses failed to find statistically significant interactions (P>0.05) based on risk of bias, type of surgery, or type of neuraxial anaesthesia.

Conclusion: Neuraxial anaesthesia for total hip or total knee arthroplasty, or both appears equally effective without increased morbidity when compared with general anaesthesia. There is limited quantitative evidence to suggest that neuraxial anaesthesia is associated with improved perioperative outcomes. Future investigations should compare intermediate and long-term outcome differences to better inform anaesthesiologists, surgeons, and patients on importance of anaesthetic selection.

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