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A Journal on Anesthesiology, Resuscitation, Analgesia and Intensive Care
ORIGINAL ARTICLES ANESTESIOLOGY
Minerva Anestesiologica 2002 November;68(11):811-23
language: English, Italian
Informing patients about risks and complications of anaesthesia
Barneschi M. G. 1, Miccinesi G. 2, Marini F. 1, Bressan F. 1, Paci E. 2
1 U.O. Anestesia e Rianimazione I, A.O. Careggi Università degli Studi di Firenze, Firenze
2 U.O. Epidemiologia, C.S.P.O., Firenze
Background. This study examines the quality of patients’ informed consent in patients undergoing minor surgical procedure. Information provided on risks and complications inherent in anaesthesia-care and patients’ awareness of specific risks involved in anaesthesia were recorded, and the influence of a questionnaire-form was evaluated.
Methods. This is a prospective controlled study. In the first part (Group I: n=71) social and demographic data, complications and risks communicated to the patient in the preanaesthetic evaluation, as well as patients’ satisfaction with the information obtained, were noted. In the second part of the study (Group II: n=201) patients were also asked to answer a questionnaire form concerning their own state of health and their knowledge of risks in anaesthesia. The statistical analysis was conducted using Pearson’s χ2 test or t test, and by fitting suitable logistic models.
Results. The frequency of the communication of at least one of the risks and complications of anaesthesia has been 43.7% in GI and 59,7% in GII, p=0.019. Patients in class ASA III were informed more (77%, c.i. 59-90) as compared to those in class ASA I-II (52%, c.i. 45-59) (p=0.008); 37% in class ASA I-II and 65% in class ASA III desire the presence of one of their relatives during the preassessment (p=0.016).
Conclusions. Our results indicate that most patients are glad to be informed, even if they are unaware of the risks and complications of anaesthesia. The questionnaire form seems to be an important tool for patient education. Ethical questions are proposed.