Randomized Controlled Trial Multicenter Study Comparative Study
What did they do?
Wilson et al randomized 401 laboring women across multiple centers to either remifentanil PCA or pethidine/meperidine IM, then compared the progression of these women to labour epidural.
On the surface... this might appear disingenuous, as it compares remifentanil PCA to widely-shown-to-be-ineffective parenteral pethidine – rather than to the gold standard labour epidural. But it's also a study of how the technique might practically be used in the real world.
What they found
Women with remifentanil PCA progressed half as often to require epidural analgesia than those receiving pethidine (19% vs 41%).
Though it's one of the secondary findings that is most interesting: the remifentanil group were less likely to need instrumental delivery (15% vs 26%).
But don't get carried away
Despite the demonstrated superiority of remi PCA to pethidine, the technique is not without it's issues:
- Safety concerns regarding respiratory depression cannot be ignored, and because managing this relies upon staff vigilance, increased PCA use may conversely lead to a normalisation of risk and institutional complacency, rather than safety improvement.
- Analgesia is still inferior to epidural, even if maternal satisfaction is comparable.
- Technique acceptability might not be as good in communities with high pre-existing epidural use.
And finally... why are we so eager to do away with the labour epidural? Serious complications are very uncommon to rare, the technique is widely acceptable to women, and it is more effective than any other modality.
Is this change driven by the needs of pregnant women, or the health system's limited resources?summary
Thrombelastography® is a monitor of coagulation and fibrinolytic status, with point-of-care applications in managing haemorrhaging patients. Advocates have suggested a possible role in managing obstetric haemorrhage. This study aims to develop a pregnancy-specific thrombelastography-guided transfusion algorithm, which could be integrated into the management of postpartum haemorrhage. ⋯ From the assay-specific reference intervals obtained, it was possible to establish a pregnancy-specific thrombelastography-guided transfusion algorithm. Specific features of this transfusion algorithm included the preferential use of activated assays, the need for duplicates and a recommendation that an initial baseline thrombelastography measurement is established for subsequent serial comparisons. This transfusion algorithm has been developed to assist with assessment of coagulation and fibrinolytic status during postpartum haemorrhage.
Programmed intermittent epidural bolus (PIEB) is an exciting new technology that has the potential to improve the maintenance of epidural labor analgesia. PIEB compared with a continuous epidural infusion (CEI) has the potential advantage of greater spread within the epidural space and therefore better sensory blockade. Studies have demonstrated a local anesthetic-sparing effect, fewer instrumental vaginal deliveries, less motor blockade, and improvements in maternal satisfaction with PIEB compared with CEI. ⋯ The PIEB bolus size and interval, PIEB start time delay period, and patient-controlled epidural analgesia bolus size and lockout time can influence the efficacy of PIEB used for epidural labor analgesia. Educating all members of the health care team is critical to the success of the technique. This review summarizes the role of PIEB for the maintenance of labor analgesia, outlines implementation strategies, suggests optimal settings, and presents potential limitations of the technique.
Total intravenous anesthesia (TIVA) with propofol and opioids is frequently utilized for spinal surgery where somatosensory evoked potentials (SSEP) and motor evoked potentials (tcMEP) are monitored. Lidocaine infusions can contribute to antinociception and unconsciousness, thus allowing for a reduction in the total dose of propofol. We examined our recent experience with lidocaine infusions to quantify this effect. ⋯ No complications were associated with the use of the lidocaine infusion. The total estimated drug savings included 104 50 ml bottles of propofol and 5 5 ml ampules of sufentanil. These cases indicate that a lidocaine infusion can be effectively utilized in spine surgery with SSEP and tcMEP monitoring as a means to reduce propofol and sufentanil usage without a negative effect on the monitoring.