The protection of healthcare workers from the risk of nosocomial severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection is a paramount concern. SARS-CoV-2 is likely to remain endemic and measures to protect healthcare workers against nosocomial infection will need to be maintained. ⋯ In the absence of data specifically related to the risk of SARS-CoV-2 transmission in the peri-operative setting, we explore the evidence-base that exists regarding modes of viral transmission, historical evidence for the risk associated with aerosol-generating procedures and contemporaneous data from the COVID-19 pandemic. We identify a significant lack of data regarding the risk of transmission in the management of elective surgical patients, highlighting the urgent need for further research.
Tonsillectomy is one of the most frequently performed surgical procedures; however, pain management remains challenging. Procedure-specific efficacy as well as specific risks of treatment options should guide selection of pain management protocols based on evidence and should optimise analgesia without harm. The aims of this systematic review were to evaluate the available literature and develop recommendations for optimal pain management after tonsillectomy. ⋯ Analgesic adjuncts such as intra-operative and postoperative acupuncture as well as postoperative honey are also recommended. Ketamine (only for children); dexmedetomidine; or gabapentinoids may be considered when some of the first-line analgesics are contra-indicated. Further randomised controlled trials are required to define risk and combination of drugs most effective for postoperative pain relief after tonsillectomy.
Randomised controlled trials are the gold standard in clinical research, but remain rare due to their expense and a perceived lack of 'real-world' applicability. At the same time, there has been an exponential increase in routinely collected data which presents opportunities for audit, quality improvement, adverse event reporting and more efficient clinical research. Registry-based research benefits from reduced cost, large sample size and real-world applicability, with methodological developments, particularly registry-based randomised controlled trials and causal inference techniques, showing promise. ⋯ This presents an opportunity for anaesthetists, through enhanced engagement and collaboration, to influence and improve the design of these datasets and increase the value and volume of data collected. Better datasets, coupled with a growing appreciation of new analysis methodologies, would allow significant progress towards realising the potential of routinely collected data for patient benefit. At the same time, work should begin on the development of a minimum dataset for anaesthesia to underpin new data sharing networks and, ideally, a national registry of anaesthesia.
Postoperative nausea and vomiting is a common adverse effect of anaesthesia. Although dozens of different anti-emetics are available for clinical practice, there is currently no comparative ranking of efficacy and safety of these drugs to inform clinical practice. We performed a systematic review with network meta-analyses to compare, and rank in terms of efficacy and safety, single anti-emetic drugs and their combinations, including 5-hydroxytryptamine3 , dopamine-2 and neurokinin-1 receptor antagonists; corticosteroids; antihistamines; and anticholinergics used to prevent postoperative nausea and vomiting in adults after general anaesthesia. ⋯ Among drug class specific side-effects, evidence for single drugs is mostly not convincing. There is convincing evidence regarding the prophylactic effect of at least seven single drugs for postoperative vomiting such that future studies investigating these drugs will probably not change the estimated beneficial effect. However, there is still considerable lack of evidence regarding safety aspects that does warrant investigation.
In this review, Karmali & Rose challenge the dogma surrounding endotracheal tube sizing for adult anaesthesia, traditionally sizing based on sex.
What did they cover?
They explored both the functional consequences (good and bad) of ETT size, as well as airway trauma.
Noting that an ETT ≥ 6.0mm ID will accomodate most intraluminal devices, and in fact at these smaller sizes fibreoptic intubation or passage through an LMA is easier, however smaller tubes are more readily obstructed and deformed.
Ventilation through smaller ETTs
While smaller tubes may require slightly higher inspiratory pressures, these are generally not clinically significant with modern ventilators, and importantly do not translate to higher intra-tracheal or alveolar pressures experienced by the patient.
Similarly, expiratory gas flow is not significantly effected by a small ETT (6.0 mm) for most patients even at high minute ventilations (although use cautiously in patients with chronic airway limitation). Significant gas trapping at normal MV will start to occur with ETT < 5.0 mm.
Size and airway trauma?
While the internal diameter (ID) is important for anaesthesia conduct, it is the external diameter that matters for airway trauma (a standard 8.0 mm ID ETT has a 10.5 mm ED!).
They note while there is wide individual variation in tracheal dimensions, the trachea is narrowest at the subglottis – and thus adequate visualisation of the glottis at time of intubation is an incomplete indicator of the tube size suitability for the subglottis.
Not only do some adult women have an airway size at the lower-limit of acceptability for traditional 7.0-8.0 mm ETTs, but there is also correlation between ETT size and airway trauma, hoarseness and sore throat. A large ETT can result in mucosal ischaemia and ulceration after as little as 2 hours.
"Instead of opting for ‘the largest tube that the larynx will comfortably accommodate’, we perhaps should consider using the smallest tube which permits the safe conduct of anaesthesia."
For routine anaesthesia of ASA 1 & 2 patients, an ETT sized 6.0-7.0 mm is probably the best balance between ventilation needs and airway trauma.
But remember, many of the concerns for tracheal tube trauma are based upon critical care experience, not anaesthesia. While a smaller tube is very likely beneficial for most elective adult patients, most benefit will simply be reduction in post-operative sore throat and hoarseness.summary