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A Journal on Anesthesiology, Resuscitation, Analgesia and Intensive Care

Official Journal of the Italian Society of Anesthesiology, Analgesia, Resuscitation and Intensive Care
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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.

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