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Concept: Post anesthesia care unit


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


Delirium has become better studied, but is still only partially understood and significantly underestimated. There are some well-known risk factors, but little is known about the incidence of delirium in the diverse patient population of a post anesthesia care unit (PACU). The aim of this study was to investigate the presence of delirium using the Nursing Delirium Screening Scale (NU-DESC).

Concepts: Scientific method, Patient, Observational study, Sociology, Anesthesia, Knowledge, Cultural studies, Post anesthesia care unit


Background: Dexmedetomidine is a highly selective α2 agonist with analgesic, anxiolytic, and anti-inflammatory properties. We investigated the effect of a single dose of dexmedetomidine on patient-perceived quality of recovery and clinical recovery variables after modified radical mastectomy under general anesthesia in this randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study. Methods: After Institutional Review Board approval, ninety two female patients were randomly allocated to receive intravenously either saline (Group C, N.=46) or 0.5 μg/kg of dexmedetomidine (Group D, N.=46) five min before the end of surgery. The quality of recovery was assessed using a 40-item quality-of-recovery scoring system (QoR-40) preoperatively and 24 h after surgery. Pain intensity, rescue analgesics, and postoperative nausea and vomiting (PONV) were assessed at postanesthesia care unit (PACU), 1-6 h, and 6-24 h after surgery. Results: Postoperative global QoR-40 scores were higher in Group D compared with Group C (181 [175-187] vs. 174 [154.5-181.5], P=0.004); postoperative QoR-40 scores were improved in the dimensions of emotional state, physical comfort, and psychological support. Total amount of tramadol during 24 h after surgery was significantly lower in Group D than in Group C (54 vs. 76 mg, P=0.006). The incidence of PONV was lower in Group D than in Group C in PACU (21% vs. 43%, P=0.026) and 6-24 h period after surgery (10% vs. 41%, P=0.012). Heart rate and mean blood pressure were significantly lower in Group D as compared with Group C at 5 min after administration of dexmedetomidine, 1 min after extubation, and 20 min after arrival in PACU. Conclusion: The use of a single dose dexmedetomidine improved the quality of recovery and reduced analgesic requirements and the incidence of PONV in the early postoperative period after modified radical mastectomy.

Concepts: Randomized controlled trial, Anesthesia, Opioid, Analgesic, Vomiting, Mastectomy, Postoperative nausea and vomiting, Post anesthesia care unit


The Surgical Care Improvement Project perioperative β-blocker (BB) (SCIP-BB) continuation measure was revised in 2012 to incorporate inpatient BB continuation after discharge from the postanesthesia care unit.

Concepts: Better, Improve, Post anesthesia care unit


OBJECTIVE In an era of escalating health care costs and pressure to improve efficiency and cost of care, ambulatory surgery centers (ASCs) have emerged as lower-cost options for many surgical therapies. Anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF) is one of the most prevalent spine surgeries performed, and the frequency of its performance is rapidly increasing as the aging population grows. Although ASCs offer significant cost advantages over hospital-based surgical centers, concern over the safety of outpatient ACDF has slowed its adoption. The authors intended to 1) determine the safety of the first 1000 consecutive ACDF surgeries performed in their outpatient ASC, and 2) compare the safety of these outpatient ACDFs with that of consecutive ACDFs performed during the same time period in the hospital setting. METHODS A total of 1000 consecutive patients who underwent ACDF in an ACS (outpatient ACDF) and 484 consecutive patients who underwent ACDF at Vanderbilt University Hospital (inpatient ACDF) from 2006 to 2013 were included in this retrospective study of patients' medical records. Data were collected on patient demographics, comorbidities, operative details, and perioperative and 90-day morbidity. Perioperative morbidity and hospital readmission were compared between the outpatient and inpatient ACDF groups. RESULTS Of the first 1000 outpatient ACDF cases performed in the authors' ASC, 629 (62.9%) were 1-level and 365 (36.5%) were 2-level ACDFs. Mean patient age was 49.5 ± 8.6, and 484 (48.4%) were males. All patients were observed postoperatively at the ASC postanesthesia care unit (PACU) for 4 hours before being discharged home. Eight patients (0.8%) were transferred from the surgery center to the hospital postoperatively (for pain control [n = 3], chest pain and electrocardiogram changes [n = 2], intraoperative CSF leak [n = 1], postoperative hematoma [n = 1], and profound postoperative weakness and surgical reexploration [n = 1]). No perioperative deaths occurred. The 30-day hospital readmission rate was 2.2%. All 90-day surgical morbidity was similar between outpatient and inpatient cohorts for both 1-level and 2-level ACDFs. CONCLUSIONS An analysis of 1000 consecutive patients who underwent ACDF in an outpatient setting demonstrates that surgical complications occur at a low rate (1%) and can be appropriately diagnosed and managed in a 4-hour ASC PACU window. Comparison with an inpatient ACDF surgery cohort demonstrated similar results, highlighting that ACDF can be safely performed in the outpatient ambulatory surgery setting without compromising surgical safety. In an effort to decrease costs of care, surgeons can safely perform 1- and 2-level ACDFs in an ASC environment.

Concepts: Medicine, Patient, Hospital, Surgery, Physician, Anesthesia, Anterior cervical discectomy and fusion, Post anesthesia care unit


BACKGROUND:Postoperative delirium in the elderly, measured days after surgery, is associated with significant negative clinical outcomes. In this study, we evaluated the prevalence and in-hospital outcomes of delirium diagnosed immediately after general anesthesia and surgery in elderly patients.METHODS:Consecutive English-speaking surgical candidates, aged 70 years or older, were prospectively enrolled during July to August 2010. After surgery, each participant was evaluated for a Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders IV diagnosis of delirium in the postanesthesia care unit (PACU) and repeatedly thereafter while hospitalized. Delirium in the PACU was evaluated for an independent association with change in cognitive function from preoperative baseline testing and discharge disposition.RESULTS:Ninety-one (58% female) patients, 78% of whom were living independently before surgery, were found to have a prevalence of delirium in the PACU of 45% (41/91); 74% (14/19) of all delirium episodes detected during subsequent hospitalization started in the PACU. Early delirium was independently associated with impaired cognition (i.e., decreased category word fluency) relative to presurgery baseline testing (adjusted difference [95% confidence interval] for change in T-score: -6.02 [-10.58 to -1.45]; P = 0.01). Patients whose delirium had resolved by postoperative day 1 showed negative outcomes that were intermediate in severity between those who were never delirious during hospitalization and those whose delirium in the PACU persisted after transfer to hospital wards (adjusted probability [95% confidence interval] of discharge to institution: 3% [0%-10%], 26% [1%-51%], 39% [0%-81%] for the 3 groups, respectively).CONCLUSIONS:Delirium in the PACU is common, but not universal. It is associated with subsequent delirium on the ward, and potentially with a decline in cognitive function and increased institutionalization at hospital discharge.

Concepts: Psychology, Hospital, Surgery, Sociology, Cognition, Anesthesia, Al-Andalus, Post anesthesia care unit


BACKGROUND:One small study suggests that gargling with licorice before induction of anesthesia reduces the risk of postoperative sore throat. Double-lumen tubes are large and thus especially likely to provoke sore throats. We therefore tested the hypothesis that preoperative gargling with licorice solution prevents postoperative sore throat and postextubation coughing in patients intubated with double-lumen tubes.METHODS:We enrolled 236 patients having elective thoracic surgery who required intubation with a double-lumen endotracheal tube. Patients were randomly assigned to gargle 5 minutes before induction of anesthesia for 1 minute with: (1) Extractum Liquiritiae Fluidum (licorice 0.5 g); or (2) Sirupus Simplex (sugar 5 g); each diluted in 30 mL water. Sore throat and postextubation coughing were evaluated 30 minutes, 90 minutes, and 4 hours after arrival in the postanesthesia care unit, and the first postoperative morning using an 11-point Likert scale by an investigator blinded to treatment.RESULTS:The incidence of postoperative sore throat was significantly reduced in patients who gargled with licorice rather than sugar-water: 19% and 36% at 30 minutes, 10% and 35% at 1.5 hours, and 21% and 45% at 4 hours, respectively. The corresponding estimated treatment effects (relative risks) were 0.54 (95% CI, 0.30-0.99, licorice versus sugar-water; P = 0.005), 0.31 (0.14-0.68) (P < 0.001), and 0.48 (0.28-0.83) (P < 0.001).CONCLUSION:Licorice gargling halved the incidence of sore throat. Preinduction gargling with licorice appears to be a simple way to prevent a common and bothersome complication.

Concepts: Surgery, Endotracheal tube, Randomness, Intubation, Likert scale, Mouthwash, Post anesthesia care unit, Gargling


BACKGROUND:: To assess patterns of injury and liability associated with operating room (OR) fires, closed malpractice claims in the American Society of Anesthesiologists Closed Claims Database since 1985 were reviewed. METHODS:: All claims related to fires in the OR were compared with nonfire-related surgical anesthesia claims. An analysis of fire-related claims was performed to identify causative factors. RESULTS:: There were 103 OR fire claims (1.9% of 5,297 surgical claims). Electrocautery was the ignition source in 90% of fire claims. OR fire claims more frequently involved older outpatients compared with other surgical anesthesia claims (P < 0.01). Payments to patients were more often made in fire claims (P < 0.01), but payment amounts were lower (median $120,166) compared to nonfire surgical claims (median $250,000, P < 0.01). Electrocautery-induced fires (n = 93) increased over time (P < 0.01) to 4.4% claims between 2000 and 2009. Most (85%) electrocautery fires occurred during head, neck, or upper chest procedures (high-fire-risk procedures). Oxygen served as the oxidizer in 95% of electrocautery-induced OR fires (84% with open delivery system). Most electrocautery-induced fires (n = 75, 81%) occurred during monitored anesthesia care. Oxygen was administered via an open delivery system in all high-risk procedures during monitored anesthesia care. In contrast, alcohol-containing prep solutions and volatile compounds were present in only 15% of OR fires during monitored anesthesia care. CONCLUSIONS:: Electrocautery-induced fires during monitored anesthesia care were the most common cause of OR fires claims. Recognition of the fire triad (oxidizer, fuel, and ignition source), particularly the critical role of supplemental oxygen by an open delivery system during use of the electrocautery, is crucial to prevent OR fires. Continuing education and communication among OR personnel along with fire prevention protocols in high-fire-risk procedures may reduce the occurrence of OR fires.

Concepts: Oxygen, Surgery, Chest, Anesthesia, Anesthesiologist, Volatile, Open set, Post anesthesia care unit


 This study examined mothers' and fathers' use of child-directed touch in the postanesthesia care unit.  METHODS:  In all, 142 mothers and 112 fathers of 143 children aged 2-11 years undergoing outpatient surgery participated. Parent touch (instrumental, empathic) and child distress were coded. Mothers' and fathers' rates of touch were compared, and interrelations between touch and child distress were examined (overall and sequentially).  RESULTS:  The proportion of mothers and fathers who used touch did not differ, but mothers' rates of touch were higher than fathers'. Parental instrumental touch and mothers embracing touch were positively correlated with children’s distress. Mothers were more likely to use embracing touch in response to children’s distress than at any other time.  CONCLUSIONS:  Results point to potential differences in mothers' and fathers' roles in the postoperative setting, and potentially different functions of touch. Results suggest that mothers may provide embracing touch to soothe or prevent children’s distress.

Concepts: Parent, Child, Childhood, Mother, Father, Potential, Post anesthesia care unit


BACKGROUND:: Use of the bispectral index (BIS) monitor has been suggested to decrease excessive anesthetic drug administration, leading to improved recovery from general anesthesia. The purpose of this substudy of the B-Unaware and BAG-RECALL trials was to assess whether a BIS-based anesthetic protocol was superior to an end-tidal anesthetic concentration-based protocol in decreasing recovery time and postoperative complications. METHODS:: Patients at high risk for awareness were randomized to either BIS-guided or end-tidal anesthetic concentration-guided general anesthesia in the original trials. Outcomes included time to postanesthesia care unit discharge readiness, time to achieve a postoperative Aldrete score of 9-10, intensive care unit length of stay, postoperative nausea and vomiting, and severe postoperative pain. Univariate Cox regression and chi-square tests were used for statistical analyses. RESULTS:: The BIS cohort was not superior in time to postanesthesia care unit discharge readiness (hazard ratio, 1.0; 95% CI, 1.0-1.1; n = 2,949), time to achieve an Aldrete score of 9-10 (hazard ratio, 1.2; 95% CI, 1.0-1.4; n = 706), intensive care unit length of stay (hazard ratio, 1.0; 95% CI, 0.9-1.1; n = 2,074), incidence of postoperative nausea and vomiting (absolute risk reduction, -0.5%; 95% CI, -5.8 to 4.8%; n = 789), or incidence of severe postoperative pain (absolute risk reduction, 4.4%; 95% CI, -2.3 to 11.1%; n = 759). CONCLUSIONS:: In patients at high risk for awareness, the BIS-guided protocol is not superior to an anesthetic concentration-guided protocol in time needed for postoperative recovery or in the incidences of common postoperative complications.

Concepts: Epidemiology, Medical statistics, Relative risk, Anesthesia, Opioid, Vomiting, Postoperative nausea and vomiting, Post anesthesia care unit