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Concept: Anesthesia


Postoperative nausea (PON) is a common complication of anesthesia and surgery. Antiemetic medication for higher-risk patients may reduce but does not reliably prevent PON. We examined aromatherapy as a treatment for patients experiencing PON after ambulatory surgery. Our primary hypothesis was that in comparison with inhaling a placebo, PON will be reduced significantly by aromatherapy with (1) essential oil of ginger, (2) a blend of essential oils of ginger, spearmint, peppermint, and cardamom, or (3) isopropyl alcohol. Our secondary hypothesis was that the effectiveness of aromatherapy will depend upon the agent used.

Concepts: Alcohol, Ethanol, Chemotherapy, Carbon, Anesthesia, Essential oil, Ginger, Oil


The study determined the one year incidence of post operative cognitive decline (POCD) and evaluated the effectiveness of an intra-operative anaesthetic intervention in reducing post-operative cognitive impairment in older adults (over 60 years of age) undergoing elective orthopaedic or abdominal surgery. METHODS AND TRIAL DESIGN: The design was a prospective cohort study with a nested randomised, controlled intervention trial, using intra-operative BiSpectral index and cerebral oxygen saturation monitoring to enable optimisation of anaesthesia depth and cerebral oxygen saturation in older adults undergoing surgery.

Concepts: Photosynthesis, Cohort study, Experimental design, Epidemiology, Clinical trial, Randomized controlled trial, Surgery, Anesthesia


BACKGROUND:: Anesthesiology requires performing visually oriented procedures while monitoring auditory information about a patient’s vital signs. A concern in operating room environments is the amount of competing information and the effects that divided attention has on patient monitoring, such as detecting auditory changes in arterial oxygen saturation via pulse oximetry. METHODS:: The authors measured the impact of visual attentional load and auditory background noise on the ability of anesthesia residents to monitor the pulse oximeter auditory display in a laboratory setting. Accuracies and response times were recorded reflecting anesthesiologists' abilities to detect changes in oxygen saturation across three levels of visual attention in quiet and with noise. RESULTS:: Results show that visual attentional load substantially affects the ability to detect changes in oxygen saturation concentrations conveyed by auditory cues signaling 99 and 98% saturation. These effects are compounded by auditory noise, up to a 17% decline in performance. These deficits are seen in the ability to accurately detect a change in oxygen saturation and in speed of response. CONCLUSIONS:: Most anesthesia accidents are initiated by small errors that cascade into serious events. Lack of monitor vigilance and inattention are two of the more commonly cited factors. Reducing such errors is thus a priority for improving patient safety. Specifically, efforts to reduce distractors and decrease background noise should be considered during induction and emergence, periods of especially high risk, when anesthesiologists has to attend to many tasks and are thus susceptible to error.

Concepts: Attention, Surgery, Anesthesia, Pulse oximetry, Oxygen saturation, Oxygen sensor, Capnography, Pulse oximeter


Lipomas are common benign tumours of fat cells. In most cases, surgical excision is curative and simple to perform; however, such a procedure requires general anaesthesia and may be associated with delayed wound healing, seroma formation and nerve injury in deep and intramuscular tumours. The objective of this study was to evaluate treatment of subcutaneous, subfascial or intermuscular lipomas using intralesional steroid injections in dogs. Fifteen dogs presenting with lipomas were selected for treatment with ultrasound-guided intralesional injection of triamcinolone acetonide at a dose of 40 mg/mL. Nine subcutaneous and subfascial tumours showed a complete regression. The other lipomas decreased in diameter, achieving, in some cases, remission of discomfort and regression of lameness. Steroid injection was a relatively safe and effective treatment for lipomas in dogs; only six dogs experienced polyuria/polydipsia for about 2 weeks post-treatment.

Concepts: Wound healing, Surgery, Benign tumor, Anesthesia, Injury, Al-Andalus, Excision, Triamcinolone acetonide


BACKGROUND: Two years after implementing the free-CS policy, we assessed the non-financial factors associated with caesarean section (CS) in women managed by referral hospitals in Senegal and Mali METHODS: We conducted a cross-sectional survey nested in a cluster trial (QUARITE trial) in 41 referral hospitals in Senegal and Mali (10/01/2007–10/01/2008). Data were collected regarding women’s characteristics and on available institutional resources. Individual and institutional factors independently associated with emergency (before labour), intrapartum and elective CS were determined using a hierarchical logistic mixed model. RESULTS: Among 86 505 women, 14% delivered by intrapartum CS, 3% by emergency CS and 2% by elective CS. For intrapartum, emergency and elective CS, the main maternal risk factors were, respectively: previous CS, referral from another facility and suspected cephalopelvic-disproportion (adjusted Odds Ratios from 2.8 to 8.9); vaginal bleeding near full term, hypertensive disorders, previous CS and premature rupture of membranes (adjusted ORs from 3.9 to 10.2); previous CS (adjusted OR=19.2 [17.2-21.6]). Access to adult and neonatal intensive care, a 24-h/day anaesthetist and number of annual deliveries per hospital were independent factors that affected CS rates according to degree of urgency. The presence of obstetricians and/or medical-anaesthetists was associated with an increased risk of elective CS (adjusted ORs [95%CI] = 4.8 [2.6-8.8] to 9.4 [5.1-17.1]). CONCLUSIONS: We confirm the significant effect of well-known maternal risk factors affecting the mode of delivery. Available resources at the institutional level and the degree of urgency of CS should be taken into account in analysing CS rates in this context.

Concepts: Childbirth, Epidemiology, Risk, Obstetrics, Anesthesia, Caesarean section, Pre-eclampsia, Premature rupture of membranes


General anesthetics are used during medical and surgical procedures to reversibly induce a state of total unconsciousness in patients. Here, we investigate, from a dynamic network perspective, how the cortical and cardiovascular systems behave during anesthesia by applying nonparametric spectral techniques to cortical electroencephalography, electrocardiogram and respiratory signals recorded from anesthetized rats under two drugs, ketamine-xylazine (KX) and pentobarbital (PB). We find that the patterns of low-frequency cortico-cardio-respiratory network interactions may undergo significant changes in network activity strengths and in number of network links at different depths of anesthesia dependent upon anesthetics used.

Concepts: Pharmacology, Surgery, Anesthesia, General anaesthesia, Chloroform, Local anesthetic, Anesthetic, EEG measures during anesthesia


BACKGROUND:Theoretically, communication systems have the potential to increase the productivity of anesthesiologists supervising anesthesia providers. We evaluated the maximal potential of communication systems to increase the productivity of anesthesia care by enhancing anesthesiologists' coordination of care (activities) among operating rooms (ORs).METHODS:At hospital A, data for 13,368 pages were obtained from files recorded in the internal alphanumeric text paging system. Pages from the postanesthesia care unit were processed through a numeric paging system and thus not included. At hospital B, in a different US state, 3 of the authors categorized each of 898 calls received using the internal wireless audio system (Vocera(®)). Lower and upper 95% confidence limits for percentages are the values reported.RESULTS:At least 45% of pages originated from outside the ORs (e.g., 20% from holding area) at hospital A and at least 56% of calls (e.g., 30% administrative) at hospital B. In contrast, requests from ORs for urgent presence of the anesthesiologist were at most 0.2% of pages at hospital A and 1.8% of calls at hospital B.CONCLUSIONS:Approximately half of messages to supervising anesthesiologists are for activity originating outside the ORs being supervised. To use communication tools to increase anesthesia productivity on the day of surgery, their use should include a focus on care coordination outside ORs (e.g., holding area) and among ORs (e.g., at the control desk).

Concepts: Surgery, Anesthesia, Confidence interval, Anesthesiologist, Operating system, Media technology, Post anesthesia care unit, Paging


BACKGROUND: Pain management is a critical but complex issue for the relief of acute pain, particularly for postoperative pain and severe pain in cancer patients. It also plays important roles in promoting quality of care. The introduction of pain management decision support systems (PM-DSS) is considered a potential solution for addressing the complex problems encountered in pain management. This study aims to investigate factors affecting acceptance of PM-DSS from a nurse anesthetist perspective. METHODS: A questionnaire survey was conducted to collect data from nurse anesthetists in a case hospital. A total of 113 questionnaires were distributed, and 101 complete copies were returned, indicating a valid response rate of 89.3 %. Collected data were analyzed by structure equation modeling using the partial least square tool. RESULTS: The results show that perceived information quality (gamma=.451, p<.001), computer self-efficacy (gamma=.315, p<.01), and organizational structure (gamma=.210, p<.05), both significantly impact nurse anesthetists' perceived usefulness of PM-DSS. Information quality (gamma=.267, p<.05) significantly impacts nurse anesthetists' perceptions of PM-DSS ease of use. Furthermore, both perceived ease of use (beta=.436, p<.001, R2=.487) and perceived usefulness (beta=.443, p<.001, R2=.646) significantly affected nurse anesthetists' PM-DSS acceptance (R2=.640). Thus, the critical role of information quality in the development of clinical decision support system is demonstrated. CONCLUSIONS: The findings of this study enable hospital managers to understand the important considerations for nurse anesthetists in accepting PM-DSS, particularly for the issues related to the improvement of information quality, perceived usefulness and perceived ease of use of the system. In addition, the results also provide useful suggestions for designers and implementers of PM-DSS in improving system development.

Concepts: Decision theory, Anesthesia, Pain, Decision support system, Clinical decision support system, Decision engineering, Information systems, Data warehouse


OBJECTIVE: To compare a towel under, a warm water pad under or a forced warm air blanket over dogs as techniques to reduce heat loss during a standardized anesthetic. STUDY DESIGN: Prospective, randomized, crossover study. ANIMALS: Eight, healthy, mixed breed dogs weighing 16.3-19.6 kg. METHODS: Dogs were anesthetized four times for 90 minutes. Dogs were placed on a steel table (treatment TA), with a cotton towel (treatment TO) or a circulating warm water pad (treatment WP) between the dog and the table, or with, a towel under the dog and covered with a forced warm air blanket (treatment WAB). Rectal temperature (RT) was recorded at 5 minute intervals. Changes in temperature (ΔRT) were calculated as the RT at a given point subtracted from the RT before anesthesia (baseline) and compared over time. RESULTS: After 90 minutes of anesthesia, the ΔRT was 3.42 °C ± 0.29 for TA, 2.78 °C ± 0.43 for TO, 1.98 °C ± 0.29 for WP, and 0.91 °C ± 0.27 for WAB. Significant differences in ΔRT occurred between TA and WAB at 20 minutes (0.94 °C ± 0.42, p = 0.0206), between TO and WAB at 30 minutes (1.16 °C ± 0.62, p = 0.0063), between WP and WAB at 50 minutes (0.96 °C ± 0.98, p = 0.0249), between TA and WP at 35 minutes (1.19 °C ± 0.54, p = 0.0091), between TO and WP at 70 minutes (1.12 °C ± 0.56, p = 0.0248), and between TA and TO at 75 minutes (0.96 °C ± 0.62, p = 0.0313). These differences in ΔRT between each treatment persisted from the times indicated until the end of the anesthesia. CONCLUSION AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE: During anesthesia, forced warm air blankets were superior to other methods tested for limiting heat loss. An efficient heat loss technique should be used for anesthesia longer than 20 minutes duration in medium sized dogs.

Concepts: Crossover study, Thermodynamics, Heat, Anesthesia, Selective breeding, Dog breed, Anesthetic, Mixed-breed dog


We describe the case of a 29-year-old parturient who, after undergoing elective cesarean delivery, displayed symptoms of lower extremity weakness and sensory deficit. Her past medical history was significant for asymptomatic Arnold Chiari Type I malformation and asthma. She had received spinal anesthesia that failed to achieve an adequate surgical level requiring conversion to general anesthesia. After tracheal extubation, she exhibited bilateral leg weakness that did not resolve over the next 4-6h. An urgent magnetic resonance imaging scan revealed a normal spine with no evidence of hematoma. The lower extremity paresis persisted and a neurologist diagnosed psychogenic paresis, a type of conversion disorder. Interestingly, the patient’s postoperative leg paresis was not her first occurrence of neurological dysfunction after dural puncture. At 27weeks of gestation, she had similar lower extremity symptoms after a lumbar puncture, performed to exclude meningitis for severe headache symptoms. Psychogenic paresis is not commonly reported in the medical literature and we found no reports of psychogenic paresis after spinal anesthesia in a parturient or recurrent psychogenic paresis. We review the various risk factors, etiology, neurological signs and symptoms, types, therapy and future management of a patient with recurrent conversion disorder.

Concepts: Medicine, Childbirth, The Canon of Medicine, Neurology, Anesthesia, Epidural, Caesarean section, Arnold-Chiari malformation