Evidence Based Practice and Quality Assurance
Goal of Study: We conducted an extensive survey of anaesthetic activity in Catalonia in 2003 in order to know its impact on the general population, to quantify the workload and to describe common practices.
Methods: We designed a prospective, cross-sectional questionnaire survey asking anaesthesiologists to report every anaesthetic procedure performed on 14 randomised days in 2003. All public and private hospitals (131) practising anaesthesia around Catalonia (6,704,146 inhabitants) participated in the survey. This was a representative population sample and included data on characteristics of patients, anaesthetic techniques and type of procedure for which anaesthesia was required. We extrapolated anaesthetic activity according to demographics and calculated distribution of anaesthetic techniques and type of procedure. Data are expressed as medians (10-90%) or 95% confidence intervals.
Results: A total of 23,136 questionnaires were collected. This extrapolates to 603,189 anaesthetic procedures performed in Catalonia in 2003. Based on the current population, the annual rate of anaesthesia was 9% (95% Cl: 8.6 to 9.4%). This rate ranged from 1.8% in girls aged 10-14 yr to 22% in men aged 75-79 yr. Fifty-eight percent of anaesthetic procedures were performed in women. The median patient age was 52 (21-78) yr. The percent-age of cases assigned to ASA ≥3 was 26.8%, emergency 20.3% and outpatient 34.4%. Median duration of anaesthesia was 60 (20-175) min. Regional anaesthesia was the technique used most often (41.5%). Anaesthesia for orthopaedics was the most frequent procedure (18.7%) and anaesthesia was used for non-surgical procedures in 10.4% of the cases.
Conclusions: Our results show an annual rate of anaesthesia similar to figures found in other national surveys (1,2). However, substantial qualitative differences were found in relation to practices such as kind of anaesthetic techniques and procedures for which anaesthesia was used. We think that national and multinational surveys would be useful in order to foresee changes in the evolution of the anaesthetic practices and workload in Europe.
1 Clergue F, Auroy Y, Péquignot F, et al. Anesthesiology 1999;91:1509.
2 Peduto VA, Chevallier P, Casati A. Minerva Anestesiol 2004;70:473.