Pubmed Monday

Interventional radiology for the obstetric patient


Purpose of review To discuss the recent results of the use of interventional radiology modalities treating postpartum hemorrhage (PPH).

Recent findings PPH still is a leading cause of maternal morbidity and mortality. An important risk factor for the development of PPH is the placenta accreta spectrum. In patients with placenta accreta, we can use prophylactic balloon occlusion of the common or internal iliac artery or abdominal aorta to prevent PPH. Balloon occlusion of the abdominal aorta seems to ensure better results than balloon occlusion of the iliac artery in terms of blood loss, transfusion rate and hysterectomy rate reduction with a minimal risk of complications. To treat PPH uterine artery embolization can be effective and potentially fertility-sparing, while having a low complication rate.

Summary The use of aortic balloon occlusion catheters for the prevention of PPH and uterine artery embolization for the treatment of PPH are well tolerated and feasible options for patients with placenta accreta spectrum.

Noninvasive respiratory support in the hypoxaemic peri-operative/periprocedural patient: a joint ESA/ESICM guideline


Hypoxaemia is a potential life-threatening yet common complication in the peri-operative and periprocedural patient (e.g. during an invasive procedure at risk of deterioration of gas exchange, such as bronchoscopy). The European Society of Anaesthesiology (ESA) and the European Society of Intensive Care Medicine (ESICM) developed guidelines for the use of noninvasive respiratory support techniques in the hypoxaemic patient in the peri-operative and periprocedural period. The panel outlined five clinical questions regarding treatment with noninvasive respiratory support techniques [conventional oxygen therapy (COT), high flow nasal cannula, noninvasive positive pressure ventilation (NIPPV) and continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP)] for hypoxaemic patients with acute peri-operative/periprocedural respiratory failure. The goal was to assess the available literature on the various noninvasive respiratory support techniques, specifically studies that included adult participants with hypoxaemia in the peri-operative/periprocedural period. The literature search strategy was developed by a Cochrane Anaesthesia and Intensive Care trial search specialist in close collaboration with the panel members and the ESA group methodologist. The Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development and Evaluation (GRADE) system was used to assess the level of evidence and to grade recommendations. The final process was then validated by both ESA and ESICM scientific committees. Among 19 recommendations, the two grade 1B recommendations state that: in the peri-operative/periprocedural hypoxaemic patient, the use of either NIPPV or CPAP (based on local expertise) is preferred to COT for improvement of oxygenation; and that the panel suggests using NIPPV or CPAP immediately post-extubation for hypoxaemic patients at risk of developing acute respiratory failure after abdominal surgery.

The role of pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics in clinical anaesthesia practice


Purpose of review: Growing concerns about the environmental effects of volatile anaesthetics are likely to lead to increased use of intravenous anaesthetic drugs. Pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamic (PKPD) models can increase the accuracy of intravenous drug titration, especially in populations that differ from the 'average.' However, with a growing number of PKPD models, and other technology available to date, it can be hard to see the wood for the trees. This review attempts to guide the reader through the PKPD jungle.

Recent findings: General purpose PKPD models for propofol and remifentanil designed to apply to a broader population, including children, the elderly and the obese, reduce the need for population-specific models. PKPD models for drugs such as dexmedetomidine and antimicrobial agents may be useful for procedural sedation or in the ICU. Technological advances such as Bayesian model adjustment based on point-of-care plasma concentration measurements, closed-loop drug delivery and artificial intelligence may improve the ease of use of the anaesthetic drugs and increase the accuracy of titration.

Summary: Newer and more complex modelling techniques and technological advancements can help to deliver anaesthetic drugs, sedatives and other drugs in a more stable and thereby safer way.

Reconfiguring the scope and practice of regional anesthesia in a pandemic: the COVID-19 perspective


The COVID-19 outbreak is on the world. While many countries have imposed general lockdown, emergency services are continuing. Healthcare professionals have been infected with the virulent severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS), which spreads by close contact and aerosols. The anesthesiologist is particularly vulnerable to aerosols while performing intubation and other airway related procedures. Regional anesthesia (RA) minimizes the need for airway manipulation and the risks of cross infection to other patients, and the healthcare personnel. In this context, for prioritizing RA over general anesthesia, wherever possible, a structured algorithmic approach is outlined. The role of percentage saturation of hemoglobin with oxygen (oxygen saturation), blood pressure and early use of point-of-care ultrasound in differential diagnosis and specific management is detailed. The perioperative anesthetic implications of multisystem manifestations of COVID-19, anesthetic management options, the scope of RA and considerations for its safe conduct in operating rooms is described. An outline for safe and rapid training of healthcare personnel, with an Entrustable Professional Activity framework for ascertaining the practice readiness among trained residents for RA in COVID-19, is suggested. These are the authors’ experiences gained from the current pandemic and similar SARS, Middle East Respiratory Syndrome and influenza outbreaks in recent past faced by our authors in Singapore, India, Hong Kong and Canada.

PROSPECT guideline for hallux valgus repair surgery: a systematic review and procedure‐specific postoperative pain management recommendations


Hallux valgus repair is associated with moderate-to-severe postoperative pain. The aim of this systematic review was to assess the available literature and develop recommendations for optimal pain management after hallux valgus repair. A systematic review using PROcedure SPECific Postoperative Pain ManagemenT (PROSPECT) methodology was undertaken. Randomized controlled trials (RCTs) published in the English language from inception of database to December 2019 assessing postoperative pain using analgesic, anesthetic, and surgical interventions were identified from MEDLINE, EMBASE, and Cochrane Database, among others. Of the 836 RCTs identified, 55 RCTs and 1 systematic review met our inclusion criteria. Interventions that improved postoperative pain relief included paracetamol and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or cyclo-oxygenase-2 selective inhibitors, systemic steroids, ankle block, and local anesthetic wound infiltration. Insufficient evidence was found for the use of gabapentinoids or wound infiltration with extended release bupivacaine or dexamethasone. Conflicting evidence was found for percutaneous chevron osteotomy. No evidence was found for homeopathic preparation, continuous local anesthetic wound infusion, clonidine and fentanyl as sciatic perineural adjuncts, bioabsorbable magnesium screws, and plaster slippers. No studies of sciatic nerve block met the inclusion criteria for PROSPECT methodology due to a wider scope of included surgical procedures or the lack of a control (no block) group. The analgesic regimen for hallux valgus repair should include, in the absence of contraindication, paracetamol and a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug or cyclo-oxygenase-2 selective inhibitor administered preoperatively or intraoperatively and continued postoperatively, along with systemic steroids, and postoperative opioids for rescue analgesia.

Cricothyroid Approach for Emergency Access to the Airway


Airway emergencies are life-threatening events that face providers of many different backgrounds. In cannot-intubate-cannot-ventilate situations, emergent access to the airway can be obtained through the cricothyroid membrane by cricothyroidotomy. The 3 main techniques are open, percutaneous, and needle cricothyroidotomy. To date, there is no compelling evidence demonstrating superiority of a particular approach. Ultimately, the method used for cricothyroidotomy should be based on the comfort and experience of the provider performing the procedure.

Ten Years of the Helsinki Declaration on Patient Safety in Anaesthesiology: An Expert Opinion on Peri-Operative Safety Aspects


Patient safety is an activity to mitigate preventable patient harm that may occur during the delivery of medical care. The European Board of Anaesthesiology (EBA)/European Union of Medical Specialists had previously published safety recommendations on minimal monitoring and postanaesthesia care, but with the growing public and professional interest it was decided to produce a much more encompassing document. The EBA and the European Society of Anaesthesiology (ESA) published a consensus on what needs to be done/achieved for improvement of peri-operative patient safety. During the Euroanaesthesia meeting in Helsinki/Finland in 2010, this vision was presented to anaesthesiologists, patients, industry and others involved in health care as the 'Helsinki Declaration on Patient Safety in Anaesthesiology'. In May/June 2020, ESA and EBA are celebrating the 10th anniversary of the Helsinki Declaration on Patient Safety in Anaesthesiology; a good opportunity to look back and forward evaluating what was achieved in the recent 10 years, and what needs to be done in the upcoming years. The Patient Safety and Quality Committee (PSQC) of ESA invited experts in their fields to contribute, and these experts addressed their topic in different ways; there are classical, narrative reviews, more systematic reviews, political statements, personal opinions and also original data presentation. With this publication we hope to further stimulate implementation of the Helsinki Declaration on Patient Safety in Anaesthesiology, as well as initiating relevant research in the future.

Breast Surgery and Peripheral Blocks. Is It Worth It?


Purpose of review: The objective of this review is to identify the potential of peripheral nerve blocks established over the last years for perioperative pain management in breast surgery. These new blocks will be discussed with respect to their clinical effect and necessity.

Recent findings: After case reports and cadaver studies for the Pecs block and its variations sufficient clinical data from randomized controlled trial (RCT) and meta-analyses exist now. The modified Pecs block or Pecs II leads to a reduction of postoperative 24-h opioid consumption. The recently invented Erector spine block addresses the intercostal nerves. The benefits in analgesia of this approach were tested in few RCTs and showed superiority to the control group in terms of requested postoperative morphine. Most studies showed low intraoperative opioid doses and no study more than low to moderate postoperative pain scores.

Summary: Taking the pain levels after breast surgery into account, the request of additional nerve blocks has to be pondered against the potential risks and resource requirement. To reduce or avoid intraoperative or postoperative opioids, an ultrasound-guided Pecs II block proves to be the best option for perioperative pain relief.

Point-of-care ultrasound in pregnancy gastric, airway, neuraxial, cardiorespiratory


Purpose of review: This review focuses on the use of point-of-care ultrasound (PoCUS) in the obstetric context for airway management and assessment of aspiration risk, the placement of neuraxial blocks and the diagnosis and follow-up of cardiorespiratory dysfunction.

Recent findings: Gastric ultrasound is a useful aspiration risk assessment tool in pregnant patients. Total gastric fluid assessment models and specific cut-offs between high-risk and low-risk stomachs are presented. Airway assessment is useful to detect specific changes in pregnancy and to guide airway management. Handheld ultrasound devices with automated neuraxial landmark detection capabilities could facilitate needle placement in the future. Lung and cardiac ultrasonography is useful in the management of preeclampsia, pulmonary arterial hypertension and peripartum cardiomyopathy.

Summary: Owing to its noninvasiveness, ease of accessibility and lack of exposure to radiation, PoCUS plays an increasing and essential role in aspiration risk assessment, airway management, neuraxial anaesthesia and cardiorespiratory diagnosis and decision-making during pregnancy.

Congenital heart disease in adults (when kids grow up) pediatric geriatric anesthesia


Purpose of review: The current review focuses on the new development of adult congenital heart disease (ACHD) patients in the areas of imaging, percutaneous interventions, ventricular assist devices and transplantation.

Recent findings: Since the last ACHD publication in the journal, several advances have been made in the evaluation and treatment of these patients. As CHD patients' longevity increases pregnancy, comorbities and acquired heart disease become a concern. Recent data show that the incidence of complications in low-risk CHD is not higher that the regular population. In addition, breakthrough research in percutaneous valve implantation has been published showing good outcomes but needing intensive care recovery in a significant number of patients. In the ACHD heart failure population, assist device and transplant fields mounting evidence shows that these therapies should not be the last resort since low-risk ACHD patient may have similar outcomes to those with acquired heart disease. Finally risk stratification is important in ACHD to define better ways to recover from surgery and anesthesia.

Summary: The field of anesthesia for ACHD is growing with new indications for diagnostic, interventional and surgical procedures. Tailoring cardiac and noncardiac care to the different risk profile in ACHD patients will be defined in the next few years.

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