The application of three-dimensional printing technology in anaesthesia

Chao, I. et al. Anesthesia. Published online: 27 January 2017 

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Three-dimensional printing has rapidly become an easily accessible, innovative and versatile technology, with a vast range of applications across a wide range of industries. There has been a recent emergence in the scientific literature relating to its potential application across a multitude of fields within medicine and surgery; however, its use within anaesthesia has yet to be formally explored. We undertook a systematic review using MEDLINE and EMBASE databases of three-dimensional printing in anaesthesia. We identified eight relevant articles. Due to the paucity of studies, we also completed a narrative review of the applications of three-dimensional printing pertinent to anaesthetic practice that our department are currently exploring, and suggest potential future uses for this technology relevant to our speciality.

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Patient reported outcome of adult perioperative anaesthesia

Walker, E.M.K. et al. (2016) British Journal of Anaesthesia. 117(6) pp. 758-766.

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Background. Understanding the patient perspective on healthcare is central to the evaluation of quality. This study measured selected patient-reported outcomes after anaesthesia in order to identify targets for research and quality improvement.

Conclusions. Anxiety and discomfort after surgery are common; despite this, satisfaction with anaesthesia care in the UK is high. The inconsistent relationship between patient-reported outcome, patient experience and patient satisfaction supports using all three of these domains to provide a comprehensive assessment of the quality of anaesthesia care.

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New perioperative QI e-learning resource

The Royal College of Anaesthetists has launched a new online anaesthesia quality improvement (QI) e-learning resource – the Perioperative Improvement Science and Management (PRISM-ed) module

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The PRISM-ed module has been developed by anaesthetists Dr Maria Chazapis, Dr Carolyn Johnston and Dr Ramani Moonesinghe, and written by experts in the field. It builds on the QI web resource funded by UCLH/NIHR Surgical Outcomes and Research Centre (SOuRCe) and the London Academy of Anaesthesia.

The PRISM-ed e-learning module outlines key knowledge and training resources required to deliver quality improvement within healthcare. PRISM-ed is designed to assist with practical implementation through downloadable project toolkits and data templates. Although it is designed for doctors in anaesthetics training, the content is relevant and accessible to anyone in the perioperative multi-disciplinary team or wider health services, who wish to improve the quality of care they provide.

PRISM-ed is being hosted on the e-Learning for Healthcare (e-LfH) online learning hub and can be accessed by all healthcare professionals with an e-LfH account. Completing the PRISM-ed module via the e-LfH online learning platform allows clinicians to record their scores and print a certificate of completion for CPD purposes.

The e-learning module is available here

Current and Emerging Anesthesia Technology in 2016

Gálvez, J.A. et al. Anesthesiology News. Published online: October 27 2016

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Image source: Marina Caruso – Wellcome Images // CC BY-NC-ND 4.0

This review focuses on emerging technological developments in anesthesiology that are available in the United States and around the world. Much of this review comes from content presented at the 2016 annual meeting of the Society for Technology in Anesthesia (STA), which can be accessed online at www.stahq.org.

Innovations are included in the areas of:

  • Closed-Loop Systems
  • Quality Measurement and Health Information Exchange
  • Anesthesia Machines
  • Carbon Dioxide Absorber
  • Physiologic Monitors
  • Capnographic Analysis
  • Surgical Blood Loss Monitoring
  • Anesthesia Information Management and Clinical Decision Support Systems
  • Simulation

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Improved decision support in the assessment and management of pain for people with dementia in hospital

Closs, S.J. et al. NIHR. Published online: October 2016

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It is difficult for people with dementia to communicate their pain to health-care professionals. Pain often has damaging effects on mental and physical health, and research has shown that pain is often poorly managed in people with dementia in hospital.

We aimed to develop a new system that would help staff to manage pain. To this end, we first identified any accurate and reliable pain assessment tools available for use with hospital patients who have dementia. We then explored how pain is currently recognised, assessed and managed in people with dementia in four hospitals in England and Scotland.

We found 28 pain assessment tools which had been reviewed, but none had been tested rigorously. Seven had potentially useful features, but no single tool could be recommended for wider use. The 11 hospital wards studied were all different, with their own complex pain assessment and management practices. Information from different staff and carers was produced at different times and in different formats, and was recorded in separate documents. This information was mentally pulled together into an ‘overall picture’ of pain by each staff member for each individual patient.

We suggest developing a combined education package and electronic health record, the Pain And Dementia Decision Support (PADDS) intervention, to help staff recognise, assess and manage pain. This should incorporate carer input, staff narratives, pain histories, intensity assessments, medication and other interventions provided, and present an overall picture of pain in an integrated and easily accessible visual format. This will require thorough development and testing.

Read the full report here