Review Meta Analysis
A decision by a society to sanction assisted dying in any form should logically go hand-in-hand with defining the acceptable method(s). Assisted dying is legal in several countries and we have reviewed the methods commonly used, contrasting these with an analysis of capital punishment in the USA. We expected that, since a common humane aim is to achieve unconsciousness at the point of death, which then occurs rapidly without pain or distress, there might be a single technique being used. ⋯ However, for all these forms of assisted dying, there appears to be a relatively high incidence of vomiting (up to 10%), prolongation of death (up to 7 days), and re-awakening from coma (up to 4%), constituting failure of unconsciousness. This raises a concern that some deaths may be inhumane, and we have used lessons from the most recent studies of accidental awareness during anaesthesia to describe an optimal means that could better achieve unconsciousness. We found that the very act of defining an 'optimum' itself has important implications for ethics and the law.
Comparative Study Observational Study
We retrospectively compared patients receiving remifentanil with patients receiving sufentanil undergoing fast-track cardiac surgery. After 1:1 propensity score matching there were 609 patients in each group. ⋯ The sufentanil group had a lower mean (SD) visual analogue pain score than the remifentanil group; 1.5 (1.2) vs. 2.4 (1.5), p < 0.001 and consumed less mean (SD) piritramide (an opioid analgesic used in our hospital); 2.6 (4.7) vs. 18.9 (7.3) mg, p < 0.001. The results of our study show that although remifentanil was more effective in reducing time to tracheal extubation and length of stay in the recovery area, there was an increased requirement for postoperative analgesia when remifentanil was used.
We investigated microcirculatory perfusion disturbances following cardiopulmonary bypass in the early postoperative period and whether the course of these disturbances mirrored restoration of endothelial glycocalyx integrity. We performed sublingual sidestream dark field imaging of the microcirculation during the first three postoperative days in patients who had undergone on-pump coronary artery bypass graft surgery. We calculated the perfused vessel density, proportion of perfused vessels and perfused boundary region. ⋯ Plasma syndecan-1 levels were inversely associated with the proportion of perfused vessels during the entire study period; R = -0.51, p < 0.0001. Our study shows that cardiopulmonary bypass-induced acute microcirculatory perfusion disturbances persist in the first three postoperative days, and are associated with prolonged endothelial glycocalyx shedding. This suggests prolonged impairment and delayed recovery of both microcirculatory perfusion and function after on-pump cardiac surgery.