IABP and pVADs: Clinical Effectiveness Versus Cost

Standard

Originally posted on invasivecardiology:

By Atman P. Shah, MD, FACC, FSCAI
Clinical Director, Section of Cardiology
Co-Director, Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory
Associate Professor of Medicine
The University of Chicago

Interventional cardiologists are increasingly able to take care of complex coronary artery disease in a population of patients that would have be been deemed too high-risk a decade ago. However, many of these patients have poor left ventricular function and may need to undergo prolonged ischemic times during percutaneous revascularization. There are a number of support devices available for interventional cardiologists to use, and given that every single patient is different, it is up to the operator to personalize therapy within the construct of available data. But, the available data are not entirely clear and do not seem to clearly favor one device over another. Given the changing economics of health care, if there is no clear winning device, should cost influence a physician’s decision? The…

View original 134 more words

The 10 most stressful situations in anesthesiology from an anesthesiologist’s perspective

Standard

These aren’t my own thought, however, I can easily agree with the list below.  One of the things that was left off this list was pediatric hearts.  I had the chance to do a one month pediatric cardiac anesthesia rotation at a very busy Children’s hospital and it was definitely an eye opening experience.  Teeny tiny babies.  Itty bity tubes and IVs.  The heart plumbing/circuitry was anything but normal.  I have the utmost respect for pediatric cardiac anesthesiologists — and that’s coming from an adult cardiac anesthesiologist.

Taken and shared from The Anesthesia Consultant Blog:

TOP 10 MOST STRESSFUL SITUATIONS IN AN ANESTHESIOLOGIST’S JOB

  1. Emergency general anesthesia in a morbidly obese patient. Picture a 350-pound man with a bellyful of beer and pizza, who needs an emergency general anesthetic. When a patient with a Body Mass Index (BMI) > 40 needs to be put to sleep urgently, it’s dangerous. Oxygen reserves are low in a morbidly obese patient, and if the anesthesiologist is unable to place an endotracheal tube safely, there’s a genuine risk of hypoxic brain damage or cardiac arrest within minutes.
  1. Liver transplantation. Picture a patient ill with cirrhosis and end-stage-liver-failure who needs a complex 10 to 20-hour-long abdominal surgery, a surgery whichfrequently demands massive transfusion equal to one blood volume (5 liters) or more. These cases are maximally stressful in both intensity and duration.
  1. An emergency Cesarean section under general anesthesia in the wee hours of the morning. Picture a 3 a.m. emergency general anesthetic on a pregnant woman whose fetus is having cardiac decelerations (a risky slow heart rate pattern). The anesthesiologist needs to get the woman to sleep within minutes so the baby can be delivered by the obstetrician. Pregnant women have full stomachs and can have difficult airway because of weight changes and body habitus changes of term pregnancy. If the anesthesiologist mismanages the airway during emergency induction of anesthesia, both the mother and the child’s life are in danger from lack of oxygen within minutes.
  1. Acute epiglottitis in a child. Picture an 11-month-old boy crowing for every strained breath because the infection of acute epiglottis has caused swelling of his upper airway passage. These children arrive at the Emergency Room lethargic, gasping for breath, and turning blue. Safe anesthetic management requires urgently anesthetizing the child with inhaled sevoflurane, inserting an intravenous line, and placing a tracheal breathing tube before the child’s airway shuts down. A head and neck surgeon must be present to perform an emergency tracheostomy should the airway management by the anesthesiologist fails.
  1. Any emergency surgery on a newborn baby. Picture a one-pound newborn premature infant with a congenital defect that is a threat to his or her life. This defect may be a diaphragmatic hernia (the child’s intestines are herniated into the chest), an omphalocele (the child’s intestines are protruding from the anterior abdominal wall, spina bifida (a sac connected to the child’s spinal cord canal is open the air through a defect in the back), or a severe congenital heart disorder such as a transposition of the great vessels (the major blood vessels: the aorta, the vena cavas and the pulmonary artery, are attached to the heart in the wrong locations). Anesthetizing a patient this small for surgeries this big requires the utmost in skill and nerve.
  1. Acute anaphylaxis. Picture a patient’s blood pressure suddenly dropping to near zero and their airway passages constricting in a severe acute asthmatic attack. Immediate diagnosis is paramount, because intravenous epinephrine therapy will reverse most anaphylactic insults, and no other treatment is likely to be effective.
  1. Malignant Hyperthermia. Picture an emergency where an anesthetized patient’s temperature unexpectedly rises to over 104 degrees Fahrenheit due to hypermetabolic acidotic chemical changes in the patient’s skeletal muscles. The disease requires rapid diagnosis and treatment with the antidote dantrolene, as well as acute medical measures to decrease temperature, acidosis, and high blood potassium levels which can otherwise be fatal.
  1. An intraoperative myocardial infarction (heart attack). Picture an anesthetized 60-year-old patient who develops a sudden drop in their blood pressure due to failed pumping of their heart. This can occur because of an occluded coronary artery or a severe abnormal rhythm of their heart. Otherwise known as cardiogenic shock, this syndrome can lead to cardiac arrest unless the heart is supported with the precise correct amount of medications to increase the pumping function or improve the arrhythmia.
  1. Any massive trauma patient with injuries both to their airway and to their major vessels. Picture a motorcycle accident victim with a bloodied, smashed-in face and a blood pressure of near zero due to hemorrhage. The placement of an airway tube can be extremely difficult because of the altered anatomy of the head and neck, and the management of the circulation is urgent because of the empty heart and great vessels secondary to acute bleeding.
  1. The syndrome of “can’t intubate, can’t ventilate.” You’re the anesthesiologist. Picture any patient to whom you’ve just induced anesthesia, and your attempt to insert the tracheal breathing tube is impossible due to the patient’s anatomy. Next you attempt to ventilate oxygen into the patient’s lungs via a mask and bag, and you discover that you are unable to ventilate any adequate amount of oxygen. The beep-beep-beep of the oxygen saturation monitor is registering progressively lower notes, and the oximeter alarms as the patient’s oxygen saturation drops below 90%. If repeated attempts at intubation and ventilation fail and the patient’s oxygen saturation drops below 85-90% and remains low, the patient will incur hypoxic brain damage within 3 – 5 minutes. This situation is the worst-case scenario that every anesthesia professional must avoid if possible. If it does occur, the anesthesia professional or a surgical colleague must be ready and prepared to insert a surgical airway (cricothyroidotomy or tracheostomy) into the neck before enough time passes to cause irreversible brain damage.

How long have I got left?

Standard

A beautifully written piece regarding the amazingly brave and young neurosurgeon who grappled with his own mortality from the perspective of the physician as well as the patient.  A truly excellent read.

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/25/opinion/sunday/how-long-have-i-got-left.html?fb_ref=Default&_r=0

Posted from Stanford News: Paul Kalanithi

http://med.stanford.edu/news/all-news/2015/03/stanford-neurosurgeon-writer-paul-kalanithi-dies-at-37.html

When great souls leave this earth, we mourn.

My condolences go out to his family, friends, patients, and everyone’s lives he touched.  When faced with our own mortality, would we change any aspect of our lives?

Starting to learn to code was a good idea

Standard

Originally posted on coding and writing with stethoscope:

I admit, tech-entrepreneur hype took over me when I was in my last year of medical school. I do not remember how I started to read about entrepreneurship, it just occured. I am Forbes, FastCompany, Entrepreneur… magazine subscriber and it is being very inspirational reading through some of the success stories in mentioned articles. Aha, I remember now. it was when I read this article by Vinod Khosla: Technology will replace 80 % of what doctors do. 

As a medical student I was not keen about the idea. After all I spend long years studying medicine and now computers will take over our position. I remember being so absorbed in studies that I barely had time to think or do anything else. I do not regret it but I do think that having broader picture of how world function is not bad idea at all. Let’s go back to the…

View original 406 more words

What is the “Best” Anesthetic for Oocyte Retrieval

Standard

Originally posted on John Gerancher's Regional Anesthesiology:

cohranePain Relief for Women Undergoing Oocyte Retrieval for Assisted Reproduction (review)
Published: January 2013
In: The Cochrane Collaboration
From: EPPI-Centre, University of London
Authors: Kwan I, Bhattacharya S, Knox F, McNeil A.
Review:
In investigating if spinal anesthesia might be the best anesthetic and analgesic approach for oocyte retrieval, I found a recent and complete review on anesthesia and oocyte retrieval. The main result of this review was that use of more than one pain relief modality improved patient comfort. My informal on-line survey of patient information provided for patients by fertility clinics suggests propofol infusion as procedural sedation/general anesthesia is likely the most common method employed for oocyte retrieval in the US.
Original Abstract:
BACKGROUND:
Various methods of conscious sedation and analgesia have been used for pain relief during oocyte recovery in in vitro fertilisation (IVF) and intra-cytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) procedures. The choice of agent has also…

View original 584 more words

The Operating Room

Standard

Kris:

Welcome to the medical world. It’s not for sissies. You’ve done a great job outlining your experience. Keep up the great work! There is a light at the end of the tunnel…and it is every bit as rewarding as you could imagine!

Originally posted on Life at Hogwarts College of Medicine:

Originally written in mid-January

I was about to sit down for a warm pre-dinner snack of daal, rice, and tilapia when my phone buzzed insistently from the tabletop. I stood there for a moment, staring at the screen, until I processed the words, “meet me in 30 min.” I wolfed down my dinner, stuffed my ID badge and white coat into my laptop bag, and dashed out the door into the freezing evening weather.

When I arrived at the hospital, I was sweating profusely into my jacket. I met my research advisor in her office, and she led me into a new world – one of windowless hallways, where there were no lost visitors or rambunctious first-year medical students to penetrate the silence. There were only faceless doctors and nurses, solemn and solitary as they headed toward their mission.

In the operating room, I watched as the anesthesiologists placed their monitors…

View original 524 more words

Don’t Dismantle the TAVR Heart Team

Standard

Kris:

More and more in our daily lives, we see a push to make things more cost-effective. There are legitimate ways to cut costs, however, I really have trouble seeing any huge gains earned by the hospital when you eliminate anesthesiologists and/or surgeons. People need to look at risk assessment in these cases. What if an already sick patient decompensates during the procedure? Is the cost-effective strategy of eliminating caregivers really the best way to save money? It seems to me that liability would be a greater risk without having a surgeon for a crash sternotomy or an anesthesiologist to manage the airway and physiology.

Originally posted on invasivecardiology:

There is global debate how to make TAVR procedures less expensive. Some sites changed from general anesthesia to sedation, some go even beyond that and keep patients fully awake during the procedure. Some sites eliminated anesthesiologists, some even eliminated the surgeons, as well. All this in the name of cost reduction, in exchange of safety, comfort and crucial information if not selected properly. TEE requires general anesthesia, but it can provide invaluable information and we anesthesiologists, can provide tailored and safe anesthesia. In certain situations, like severe lung disease, in experienced hands, sedation could be more appropriate than general anesthesia, even if it means eliminating TEE.
We looked at the cost of TAVR not just as a procedural cost, but as a post-procedural cost. Renal failure following TAVR can occur with underlying renal insufficiency and has significant financial and quality of life consequences. One of the mechanisms for this serious…

View original 242 more words