Anesthesia Alert: Regional vs. General for Post-Op M&M

Study confirms regional anesthesia as a better option

regional anesthesia better general anesthesia for post-op

A new study points to regional anesthesia as a better option over general anesthesia for post-op morbidity and mortality.

According to a new study, patients going in for elective surgery might be better off if they receive regional anesthesia over general anesthesia. These findings were made by researchers at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, and presented at the most recent annual meeting of the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA).

Researchers found that 0.81 percent of adults receiving regional anesthesia died within 30 days of surgery, compared to 1.13 percent of adults receiving general anesthesia. A small difference, perhaps, but over time with a large numbers of patients, it can certainly add up.

“The take-home message is if regional anesthesia in an option, we should consider it,” said Dr. Nahel Saied, MB BCh and lead author of the study.

Dr. Saied and his colleagues analyzed data from the American College of Surgeons’ National Surgical Quality Improvement Program database from 2005 to 2011, and looked at the records of 682,362 elective surgical procedures. These records included procedures like hernia repairs, cystoscopies and hip and knee replacements. From this, they determined the odds of 30-day mortality were 46 percent lower in patients given regional anesthesia than in those who received general anesthesia. They also found the odds of major postoperative complications were 40 percent lower in patients given regional anesthesia.

For more information on the new study, click here: Regional Better Than General Anesthesia in Study of Post-Op M&M.


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