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Online ISSN 1827-1596
Benjamin L. OLESNICKY, Catherine TRAILL, Frank B. MARROQUIN-HARRIS
Northern Sydney Anaesthetic Research Institute, Department of Anaesthesia, Royal North Shore Hospital, Reserve Rd, St. Leonards, Sydney, Australia
BACKGROUND: Postoperative residual curarisation is a preventable cause of postoperative morbidity. Although sugammadex has been shown to reduce the risk of residual curarisation, it has not yet been shown if this directly translates to a reduction in morbidity. We aimed to demonstrate whether the introduction of unrestricted sugammadex for routine reversal changed the incidence of post-operative respiratory diagnoses and the rate of airway and respiratory complications in the post-operative care unit.
METHODS: A historical cohort study of 1257 patients who underwent general surgical or ear, nose and throat (ENT) procedures before and after the introduction of unrestricted availability of sugammadex. Patient records were used to identify the incidence of postoperative in-hospital respiratory diagnoses and of airway complications in PACU, the pattern of muscle relaxant use and the relative costs associated with the routine availability of sugammadex.
RESULTS: Unrestricted sugammadex availability was associated with a significant reduction in the rate of a postoperative in-hospital respiratory diagnosis; Odds Ratio (OR) = 0.20 (95%CI 0.05-0.72, p=0.01). Furthermore, the use of sugammadex itself was also associated with a reduction in inhospital
respiratory diagnoses; OR = 0.26 (95%CI 0.08-0.94, p=0.04). Unrestricted sugammadex was also associated with a decrease in the need for manual airway support in the recovery room (3.2% vs 1.1%, p=0.02) and a decrease in patients being transferred intubated to ICU (5.5% vs 1.3%, p<0.001).
CONCLUSIONS: Unrestricted sugammadex availability is associated with a reduction in post-operative respiratory complications. A well-designed, prospective randomised trial is needed to provide further validation of the data.