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Wiley Online Library : Anaesthesia
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Effect of palpable vs. impalpable cricothyroid membranes in a simulated emergency front-of-neck access scenario

14 hours 34 min ago
Summary

The Difficult Airway Society 2015 guidelines recommend and describe in detail a surgical cricothyroidotomy technique for the can't intubate, can't oxygenate (CICO) scenario, but this can be technically challenging for anaesthetists with no surgical training. Following a structured training session, 104 anaesthetists took part individually in a simulated can't intubate, can't oxygenate event using simulation and airway models to evaluate how well they could perform these front-of-neck access techniques. Main outcomes measures were: ability to correctly perform the technical steps; procedural time; and success rate. Outcomes were compared between palpable and impalpable cricothyroid membrane scenarios. Anaesthetists’ technical abilities were good, as assessed by a video analysis checklist score. Mean (SD) procedural time was 44 (16) s and 65 (17) s for the palpable and impalpable cricothyroid membrane models, respectively (p ≤ 0.001). First-pass tracheal tube placement was obtained in 103 out of the 104 palpable cricothyroidotomies and in 101 out of the 104 impalpable cricothyroidotomies (p = 0.31). We conclude that anaesthetists can be trained to perform surgical front-of-neck access to an acceptable level of competence and speed when assessed using a simulator.

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The association between borderline pre-operative anaemia in women and outcomes after cardiac surgery: a cohort study

14 hours 34 min ago
Summary

Anaemia is common before cardiac surgery and is associated with increased morbidity and mortality. The World Health Organization (WHO) definition of anaemia is lower for women than for men by 10 g.l−1, potentially putting women at a disadvantage compared with men with regard to pre-operative optimisation. Our hypothesis was that women with borderline anaemia (defined by us as haemoglobin concentration 120–129 g.l−1) would have a higher rate of red cell transfusion, morbidity and mortality than non-anaemic women (haemoglobin ≥ 130 g.l−1). This retrospective observational study included all adult patients admitted for elective cardiac surgery from January 2013 to April 2016. During the study period, 1388 women underwent cardiac surgery. Pre-operatively, 333 (24%) had a haemoglobin level < 120 g.l−1; 408 (29%) 120–129 g.l−1; and 647 (47%) ≥ 130 g.l−1. Compared with non-anaemic women, women with borderline anaemia were more likely to be transfused (68.6% vs. 44.5%; RR 1.5, 95%CI 1.4–1.7; p < 0.0001) and were transfused with more units of red cells, mean (SD) 1.8 (2.8) vs. 1.3 (3.0); p < 0.0001. Hospital length of stay was significantly longer in the borderline anaemia group compared with non-anaemic women, median (IQR [range]) 8 (6–12 [3–45]) vs. 7 (6–11 [4–60]); p = 0.0159. Short- and long-term postoperative survival was comparable in both groups. Borderline anaemia is associated with increased red cell transfusion and prolonged hospital stay. Future research should address whether correction of borderline anaemia results in improved outcomes.

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A new retrograde transillumination technique for videolaryngoscopic tracheal intubation

18. January 2018 - 12:00
Summary

This single-centre, prospective trial was designed to assess the efficacy of a new retrograde transillumination device called the ‘Infrared Red Intubation System’ (IRRIS) to aid videolaryngoscopic tracheal intubation. We included 40 adult patients, who were undergoing elective urological surgery under general anaesthesia. We assessed the ability to differentiate the transilluminated glottis from other structures and found a median (IQR [range]) larynx recognition time of 8 (5–14 [3–28]) s. The difference in laryngeal visibility on the screen between the deactivated vs. activated device expressed on a visual analogue scale was significant (6 (4–7 [2–10]) vs. 10 (8–10 [4–10]); p < 0.001). The number of laryngoscope insertions was 1 (1–2 [1–3]) and the device showed high values on a visual analogue scale ranging from 0 (lowest score) to 10 (highest score) for helpfulness (6 (5–7 [2–10])), credibility (10 (8–10 [5–10])) and ease of use (10 (9–10 [8–10])). Tracheal intubation with the system lasted 26 (16–32 [6–89]) s. No alternative technique of securing the airway was necessary. The lowest SpO2 during intubation was 98 (97–99 [91–100])%. We conclude that this method of retrograde transillumination can assist videolaryngoscopy.

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Issue Information – Editorial Board

15. January 2018 - 4:06
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Correction

15. January 2018 - 4:06
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Social prescribing and pre-operative care

15. January 2018 - 4:06
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Transnasal humidified rapid-insufflation ventilatory exchange (THRIVE) vs. facemask breathing pre-oxygenation for rapid sequence induction in adults: a prospective randomised non-blinded clinical trial

13. January 2018 - 5:30
Summary

Transnasal humidified rapid-insufflation ventilatory exchange (THRIVE) can prolong apnoea time in adults. Therefore, THRIVE used for pre-oxygenation in rapid sequence induction of anaesthesia could extend safe apnoea time during prolonged laryngoscopy and intubation. In this randomised controlled trial, we compared the lowest peripheral oxygen saturation (SpO2) during intubation when pre-oxygenating with either traditional facemask or THRIVE. Eighty adult patients, undergoing rapid sequence induction of anaesthesia for emergency surgery, were randomly allocated to pre-oxygenation with 100% oxygen with facemask or with THRIVE. Median (IQR [range]) lowest SpO2 until 1 min after intubation was 99% (97–100 [70–100]%) for the facemask group vs. 99% (99–100 [96–100]%) for the THRIVE group (p = 0.097). Five patients (12.5%) desaturated below 93% when pre-oxygenated with the facemask vs. none in the THRIVE group (p = 0.019). There were no differences in intubation time or apnoea time between the groups. Median intubation time was 51 (34–66 [22–261]) s in the facemask group vs. 48 (38–63 [10–146]) s in the THRIVE group (p = 0.99). Median apnoea time was 109 (86–142 [37–291]) s and 116 (92–146 [63–249]) s when using facemask and THRIVE, respectively (p = 0.49). No signs of regurgitation of gastric content were detected. The data on desaturation indicate potential benefits of oxygenation with THRIVE for rapid sequence induction compared with facemask pre-oxygenation.

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Clinical guideline and recommendations on pre-operative exercise training in patients awaiting major non-cardiac surgery

13. January 2018 - 5:25
Summary

Despite calls for the routine implementation of pre-operative exercise programmes to optimise patient fitness before elective major surgery, there is no practical guidance for providing safe and effective exercise in this specific context. The following clinical guideline was developed following a review of the evidence on the effects of pre-operative exercise interventions. We developed a series of best-practice and, where possible, evidence-based statements to advise on patient care with respect to exercise training in the peri-operative period. These statements cover: patient selection for exercise training in surgical patients; integration of exercise training into multi-modal prehabilitation programmes; and advice on exercise prescription factors and follow-up. Although we acknowledge that further research is needed to identify the optimal exercise prescription in different clinical scenarios, we urge peri-operative teams to make use of these recommendations.

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Combined spinal-epidural vs. spinal anaesthesia for caesarean section: meta-analysis and trial-sequential analysis

13. January 2018 - 5:00
Summary

Combined spinal-epidural and single-shot spinal anaesthesia are both used for caesarean section. It has been claimed in individual trials that combined spinal-epidural is associated with higher sensory spread and greater cardiovascular stability. We set out to gather all available evidence. We performed: a systematic literature search to identify randomised controlled trials comparing combined spinal-epidural with spinal anaesthesia for caesarean section: conventional meta-analysis; trial-sequential analysis; and assessment of trial quality using the Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development, and Evaluation (GRADE) system. Fifteen trials with high heterogeneity, including 1015 patients, were analysed. There was no significant difference between combined spinal-epidural and spinal anaesthesia for our primary outcomes maximum sensory height and vasopressor use (mg ephedrine equivalents). However, trial-sequential analysis suggested insufficient data and the GRADE scores showed ‘very low’ quality of evidence for these outcomes. The secondary outcomes hypotension, time for sensory block to recede to the level of T10, and the combined outcome of nausea and vomiting, did not differ significantly between the interventions. The block times were statistically significantly longer for combined spinal-epidural in individual trials, but only one trial showed a clinically meaningful difference (11 min). Based on this analysis, and taking into consideration all comparisons irrespective of whether drugs had been applied via the epidural route, there is not enough evidence to postulate any advantage compared with the spinal technique. Future analyses and studies need to examine the potential advantages of the combined spinal-epidural technique by using the epidural route intra- and/or postoperatively.

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Combined thoracic paravertebral and pectoral nerve blocks for breast surgery under sedation: a prospective observational case series

12. January 2018 - 6:35
Summary

Avoidance of general anaesthesia for breast surgery may be because of clinical reasons or patient choice. There is emerging evidence that the use of regional anaesthesia and the avoidance of volatile anaesthetics and opioid analgesia may have beneficial effects on oncological outcomes. We conducted a prospective observational case series of 16 breast cancer surgeries performed under thoracic paravertebral plus pectoral nerve block with propofol sedation to demonstrate feasibility of technique, patient acceptability and surgeon satisfaction. Fifteen out of 16 cases were successfully completed under sedation and regional anaesthesia, with one conversion to general anaesthesia. Eleven out of 16 cases required low-dose intra-operative opioid analgesia. Out of the 15 surgical procedures completed under regional anaesthesia with sedation, all patients experienced either no or minimal intra-operative pain, and all would choose this anaesthetic technique again. Surgeon-reported operating conditions were ‘indistinguishable from general anaesthesia’ in most cases, and surgeons were ‘extremely satisfied’ or ‘satisfied’ with the technique after every procedure. Combined thoracic paravertebral plus pectoral nerve block with intra-operative sedation is a feasible technique for breast surgery.

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Propensity score-matched outcomes after thoracic epidural or paravertebral analgesia for thoracotomy

12. January 2018 - 6:10
Summary

It is not known which regional analgesic technique is most effective or safest after open lung resection. We retrospectively examined outcomes in 828 patients who received thoracic epidural analgesia and 791 patients who received paravertebral block after lung resection between 2008 and 2012. We analysed outcomes for 648 patients, 324 who had each analgesic technique, matched by propensity scores generated with peri-operative data. There were 22 out of 324 (7%) postoperative respiratory complications after thoracic epidural and 23 out of 324 (7%) after paravertebral block, p = 0.88. For any postoperative complication, there were 80 out of 324 (25%) and 78 out of 324 (24%) complications, respectively, p = 0.85. There were 17 out of 324 (5%) re-admissions to intensive care after thoracic epidural and 17 out of 324 (5%) after paravertebral block, p > 0.99, and the number of deaths before discharge were 6 out of 324 (2%) and 4 out of 324 (1%), respectively, p = 0.53. There was no significant difference in median (IQR [range]) hospital stay after thoracic epidural or paravertebral block, 6 (5–9 [2–94]) days vs. 6 (5–9 [2–122]), respectively, p = 0.83. Our study suggests that rates of complications as well as length of hospital stay after thoracic epidural analgesia and paravertebral blockade are similar. We were unable to compare analgesic efficacy due to incomplete data.

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