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ORIGINAL ARTICLE

A cross-sectional survey of anaesthesia-related expectations amongst patients awaiting upper limb trauma surgery*

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.21454/rjaic.7518.242.bdo

Brian Declan O’Donnell, Gabriella Iohom

Department of Anaesthesia, Cork University Hospital, Wilton, Cork, Ireland

Abstract
Background and aims: Little is known regarding patients’ anaesthesia-related expectations when presenting for upper limb trauma surgery.
Methods: We conducted a prospective cross-sectional survey exploring prior anaesthetic experience, anaesthesia-related knowledge, anaesthesia expectations, the preoperative visit and factors likely to influence anaesthesia choice. The survey was completed by 192 patients.
Results: Anaesthetists were identified as doctors by 52%; 53% were unaware of their planned anaesthesia; 58% indicated likely acceptance of regional anaesthesia. Information regarding anaesthesia originated mostly from surgeons (65%); 93% had not seen an anaesthetist at the time of the survey. Most believed anaesthesia involved ‘going to sleep’ (82%) and 71% expected to receive general anaesthesia.
The preoperative anaesthesia visit was rated as important by 65% of patients. 78% indicated that provision of information would increase the likelihood of accepting regional anaesthesia. Reducing postoperative pain and nausea would influence 80% in choosing a regional technique.
Conclusion: A knowledge deficit exists regarding anaesthesia modalities for upper limb trauma surgery.
Keywords: patient expectations; anaesthesia, general, regional; upper limb trauma surgery; postoperative analgesia; survey