Regional anaesthesia practice for arteriovenous fistula formation surgery.
ABSTRACT: We conducted a survey and semi-structured qualitative interviews to investigate current anaesthetic practice for arteriovenous fistula formation surgery in the UK. Responses were received from 39 out of 59 vascular centres where arteriovenous access surgery is performed, a response rate of 66%. Thirty-five centres reported routine use of brachial plexus blocks, but variation in anaesthetic skill-mix and practice were observed. Interviews were conducted with 19 clinicians from 10 NHS Trusts including anaesthetists, vascular access and renal nurses, surgeons and nephrologists. Thematic analysis identified five key findings: (1) current anaesthetic practice showed that centres could be classified as 'regional anaesthesia dominant' or 'local anaesthesia/mixed'; (2) decision making around mode of anaesthesia highlighted the key role of surgeons as frontline decision makers across both centre types; (3) perceived barriers and facilitators of regional block use included clinicians' beliefs and preferences, resource considerations and patients' treatment preferences; (4) anaesthetists' preference for supraclavicular blocks emerged, alongside acknowledgement of varied practice; (5) there was widespread support for a future randomised controlled trial, although clinician equipoise issues and logistical/resource-related concerns were viewed as potential challenges. The use of regional anaesthesia for arteriovenous fistula formation in the UK is varied and influenced by a multitude of factors. Despite the availability of anaesthetists capable of performing regional blocks, there are other limiting factors that influence the routine use of this technique. The study also highlighted the perceived need for a large multicentre, randomised controlled trial to provide an evidence base to inform current practice.
Project description:Regional anaesthesia has multiple known benefits over general anaesthesia alone, but requires time and expertise for its application. This study aimed to decrease anaesthetic time and increase total surgical operative time by instituting a 'block room' where regional anaesthesia nerve blocks could be provided by expert anaesthetists in regular scheduled sessions. A baseline audit showed that 2 hours per day was spent on performing nerve blocks. Development of the block room allowed nerve blocks to be performed in parallel to surgical operations, reducing the mean anaesthetic control time from 44 mins to 27 mins. This freed time for an extra operative case per day. In addition, pooling of expertise to one site has allowed excellent teaching opportunities for anaesthetic trainees, and a specific training programme for regional anaesthesia is being produced. In conclusion, instituting a block room has improved the efficiency of our theatre complex, and improved the service deliverable to our patients.
Project description:BACKGROUND:An arteriovenous fistula is the optimal form of vascular access in patients with end-stage renal failure requiring haemodialysis. Unfortunately, approximately one-third of fistulae fail at an early stage. Different anaesthetic techniques can influence factors associated with fistula success, such as intraoperative blood flow and venous diameter. A regional anaesthetic brachial plexus block results in vasodilatation and improved short- and long-term fistula flow compared to the infiltration of local anaesthetic alone. This, however, has not yet been shown in a large trial to influence long-term fistula patency, the ultimate clinical measure of success.The aim of this study is to compare whether a regional anaesthetic block, compared to local anaesthetic infiltration, can improve long-term fistula patency. METHODS:This study is an observer-blinded, randomised controlled trial. Patients scheduled to undergo creation of either brachial or radial arteriovenous fistulae will receive a study information sheet, and consent will be obtained in keeping with the Declaration of Helsinki. Patients will be randomised to receive either: (i) an ultrasound guided brachial plexus block using lignocaine with adrenaline and levobupivicaine, or (ii) local anaesthetic infiltration with lignocaine and levobupivicaine.A total of 126 patients will be recruited. The primary outcome is fistula primary patency at three months. Secondary outcomes include primary patency at 1 and 12 months, secondary patency and fistula flow at 1, 3 and 12 months, flow on first haemodialysis, procedural pain, patient satisfaction, change in cephalic vein diameter pre- and post-anaesthetic, change in radial or brachial artery flow pre- and post-anaesthetic, alteration of the surgical plan after anaesthesia as guided by vascular mapping with ultrasound, and fistula infection requiring antibiotics. CONCLUSIONS:No large randomised controlled trial has examined the influence of brachial plexus block compared with local anaesthetic infiltration on the long-term patency of arteriovenous fistulae. If the performance of brachial plexus block increases fistulae patency, this will have significant clinical and financial benefits as the number of patients able to commence haemodialysis when planned should increase, and the number of "redo" or revision procedures should be reduced. TRIAL REGISTRATION:This study has been approved by the West of Scotland Research Ethics Committee 5 (reference no. 12/WS/0199) and is registered with the ClinicalTrials.gov database (reference no. NCT01706354).
Project description: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.
Project description:OBJECTIVE:To describe the extent to which different categories of anaesthesia provider are used in humanitarian surgical projects and to explore the volume and nature of their surgical workload. DESIGN:Descriptive analysis using 10 years (2008-2017) of routine case-level data linked with routine programme-level data from surgical projects run exclusively by Médecins Sans Frontières-Operational Centre Brussels (MSF-OCB). SETTING:Projects were in contexts of natural disaster (ND, entire expatriate team deployed by MSF-OCB), active conflict (AC) and stable healthcare gaps (HG). In AC and HG settings, MSF-OCB support pre-existing local facilities. Hospital facilities ranged from basic health centres with surgical capabilities to tertiary referral centres. PARTICIPANTS:The full dataset included 178 814 surgical cases. These were categorised by most senior anaesthetic provider for the project, according to qualification: specialist physician anaesthesiologists, qualified nurse anaesthetists and uncertified anaesthesia providers. PRIMARY OUTCOME MEASURE:Volume and nature of surgical workload of different anaesthesia providers. RESULTS:Full routine data were available for 173 084 cases (96.8%): 2518 in ND, 42 225 in AC, 126 936 in HG. Anaesthesia was predominantly led by physician anaesthesiologists (100% in ND, 66% in AC and HG), then nurse anaesthetists (19% in AC and HG) or uncertified anaesthesia providers (15% in AC and HG). Across all settings and provider groups, patients were mostly healthy young adults (median age range 24-27 years), with predominantly females in HG contexts, and males in AC contexts. Overall intra-operative mortality was 0.2%. CONCLUSION:Our findings contribute to existing knowledge of the nature of anaesthetic provision in humanitarian settings, while demonstrating the value of high-quality, routine data collection at scale in this sector. Further evaluation of perioperative outcomes associated with different models of humanitarian anaesthetic provision is required.
Project description:It is widely accepted that the performance of the operating surgeon affects outcomes, and this has led to the publication of surgical results in the public domain. However, the effect of other members of the multidisciplinary team is unknown. We studied the effect of the anaesthetist on mortality after cardiac surgery by analysing data collected prospectively over ten years of consecutive cardiac surgical cases from ten UK centres. Casemix-adjusted outcomes were analysed in models that included random-effects for centre, surgeon and anaesthetist. All cardiac surgical operations for which the EuroSCORE model is appropriate were included, and the primary outcome was in-hospital death up to three months postoperatively. A total of 110 769 cardiac surgical procedures conducted between April 2002 and March 2012 were studied, which included 127 consultant surgeons and 190 consultant anaesthetists. The overwhelming factor associated with outcome was patient risk, accounting for 95.75% of the variation for in-hospital mortality. The impact of the surgeon was moderate (intra-class correlation coefficient 4.00% for mortality), and the impact of the anaesthetist was negligible (0.25%). There was no significant effect of anaesthetist volume above ten cases per year. We conclude that mortality after cardiac surgery is primarily determined by the patient, with small but significant differences between surgeons. Anaesthetists did not appear to affect mortality. These findings do not support public disclosure of cardiac anaesthetists' results, but substantially validate current UK cardiac anaesthetic training and practice. Further research is required to establish the potential effects of very low anaesthetic caseloads and the effect of cardiac anaesthetists on patient morbidity.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Although delivering a chosen mode of anaesthesia for certain emergency surgery procedures is potentially beneficial to patients, it is a complex intervention to evaluate. This qualitative study explored clinician and patient perspectives about mode of anaesthesia for emergency surgery. METHODS:Snowball sampling was used to recruit participants from eight National Health Service Trusts that cover the following three emergency surgery settings: ruptured abdominal aortic aneurysms, hip fractures and inguinal hernias. A qualitative researcher conducted interviews with clinicians and patients. Thematic analysis was applied to the interview transcripts. RESULTS:Interviews were conducted with 21 anaesthetists, 21 surgeons, 14 operating theatre staff and 23 patients. There were two main themes. The first, impact of mode of anaesthesia in emergency surgery, had four subthemes assessing clinician and patient ideas about: context and the 'best' mode of anaesthesia; balance in choosing it over others; change and developments in anaesthesia; and the importance of mode of anaesthesia in emergency surgery. The second, tensions in decision-making about mode of anaesthesia, comprised four subthemes: clinical autonomy and guidelines in anaesthesia; conforming to norms in mode of anaesthesia; the relationship between expertise, preference and patient involvement; and team dynamics in emergency surgery. The results highlight several interlinking factors affecting decision-making, including expertise, preference, habit, practicalities, norms and policies. CONCLUSION:There is variation in practice in choosing the mode of anaesthesia for surgery, alongside debate as to whether anaesthetic autonomy is necessary or results in a lack of willingness to change.
Project description: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.
Project description:BACKGROUND:In laboratory animals, exposure to most general anaesthetics leads to neurotoxicity manifested by neuronal cell death and abnormal behaviour and cognition. Some large human cohort studies have shown an association between general anaesthesia at a young age and subsequent neurodevelopmental deficits, but these studies are prone to bias. Others have found no evidence for an association. We aimed to establish whether general anaesthesia in early infancy affects neurodevelopmental outcomes. METHODS:In this international, assessor-masked, equivalence, randomised, controlled trial conducted at 28 hospitals in Australia, Italy, the USA, the UK, Canada, the Netherlands, and New Zealand, we recruited infants of less than 60 weeks' postmenstrual age who were born at more than 26 weeks' gestation and were undergoing inguinal herniorrhaphy, without previous exposure to general anaesthesia or risk factors for neurological injury. Patients were randomly assigned (1:1) by use of a web-based randomisation service to receive either awake-regional anaesthetic or sevoflurane-based general anaesthetic. Anaesthetists were aware of group allocation, but individuals administering the neurodevelopmental assessments were not. Parents were informed of their infants group allocation upon request, but were told to mask this information from assessors. The primary outcome measure was full-scale intelligence quotient (FSIQ) on the Wechsler Preschool and Primary Scale of Intelligence, third edition (WPPSI-III), at 5 years of age. The primary analysis was done on a per-protocol basis, adjusted for gestational age at birth and country, with multiple imputation used to account for missing data. An intention-to-treat analysis was also done. A difference in means of 5 points was predefined as the clinical equivalence margin. This completed trial is registered with ANZCTR, number ACTRN12606000441516, and ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT00756600. FINDINGS:Between Feb 9, 2007, and Jan 31, 2013, 4023 infants were screened and 722 were randomly allocated: 363 (50%) to the awake-regional anaesthesia group and 359 (50%) to the general anaesthesia group. There were 74 protocol violations in the awake-regional anaesthesia group and two in the general anaesthesia group. Primary outcome data for the per-protocol analysis were obtained from 205 children in the awake-regional anaesthesia group and 242 in the general anaesthesia group. The median duration of general anaesthesia was 54 min (IQR 41-70). The mean FSIQ score was 99·08 (SD 18·35) in the awake-regional anaesthesia group and 98·97 (19·66) in the general anaesthesia group, with a difference in means (awake-regional anaesthesia minus general anaesthesia) of 0·23 (95% CI -2·59 to 3·06), providing strong evidence of equivalence. The results of the intention-to-treat analysis were similar to those of the per-protocol analysis. INTERPRETATION:Slightly less than 1 h of general anaesthesia in early infancy does not alter neurodevelopmental outcome at age 5 years compared with awake-regional anaesthesia in a predominantly male study population. FUNDING:US National Institutes of Health, US Food and Drug Administration, Thrasher Research Fund, Australian National Health and Medical Research Council, Health Technologies Assessment-National Institute for Health Research (UK), Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists, Murdoch Children's Research Institute, Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Canadian Anesthesiologists Society, Pfizer Canada, Italian Ministry of Health, Fonds NutsOhra, UK Clinical Research Network, Perth Children's Hospital Foundation, the Stan Perron Charitable Trust, and the Callahan Estate.
Project description:Introduction:Persons with paraplegia present complex challenges to anaesthetists. Complications experienced by these patients can require major orthoplastic surgery such as excision of infected bone and soft tissue due to pressure sores and soft tissue reconstruction. Anaesthetic strategies deemed both safe and acceptable to this population are essential. Case presentation:We report a case series of five procedures in four patients with complete chronic spinal cord injury (CSCI) who underwent operations in lateral position under standby anaesthesia and audio-visual distraction (AVD) with minimal sedation. Patients' experience was formally assessed as part of the ongoing AVD service evaluation in our institution. All stated that they were not concerned in the operating theatre and felt "comfortable" or "very comfortable" throughout. All patients rated the experience as "better" than their previous experience with general anaesthesia and felt "very satisfied" with their anaesthetic. Importantly, all patients would recommend sedation with AVD to other patients. Discussion:To our knowledge, this is the first report of AVD application as an adjunct to standby anaesthesia during major surgery in persons with paraplegia. Patient feedback was extremely positive, therefore it is likely that by making standby anaesthesia more acceptable to patients the use of AVD could reduce anaesthetic risk in this complex patient group.
Project description:OBJECTIVES:To explore the views of non-physician anaesthesia providers (NPAPs) and their colleagues regarding the effectiveness of NPAP training programmes in three contrasting sub-Saharan African countries. DESIGN:This was a qualitative exploratory descriptive study. Semistructured interviews were conducted online, recorded, transcribed and analysed thematically using NVivo. SETTING:Participants' homes or workplaces in Sierra Leone, Somaliland and Uganda. PARTICIPANTS:15 NPAPs, physician anaesthetists and surgeons working in the countries concerned. RESULTS:Three major themes were identified: (1) discrepancy between urban training and rural practice, (2) prominent development of attitudes outside the curricular set during training, including approaches to learning and clinical responsibility and (3) the importance of interprofessional relationships developed during training for later practice. CONCLUSIONS:Anaesthesia providers in different cadres and very different country contexts in sub-Saharan Africa describe common themes in training which appear to be significant for their later practice. Not all these issues are explicitly planned for in current training programmes, although they are important in the view of providers. Subsequent programme development should consider these themes with a view to enhancing the safety and quality of anaesthesia practice in this context.