Background and Aims We conducted a quality improvement project for 4 months between November 2021 to March 2022 to encourage the use of ultrasound-assisted epidural/spinal anaesthesia on maternity ward to improve patient care by reducing the number of needle puncture attempts.
Methods All anaesthetists who performed epidural or spinal anaesthesia on parturients were asked to document the number of skin puncture attempts and whether ultrasound was used.
Throughout the data collection period, regular targeted teaching sessions on central neuraxial ultrasound for anaesthetists were provided by an experienced regional anaesthetist at the William Harvey Hospital.
Results An increase from 1 ultrasound-assisted epidural/spinal in the first month to 11 in the 3rd month was noted following targeted teaching sessions along with a reduction in needle-puncture attempts, as demonstrated by Figure 1 and 2.
Conclusions The data demonstrates that the use of ultrasound for central neuraxial blockade on parturients is very low and further engagement is required to change practice. This may include targeted teaching sessions to anaesthetists by an experienced practitioner and increasing awareness amongst anaesthetists about the benefits of using ultrasound.
Although no statistical analysis of the data was performed, a trend towards increased ultrasound use has been noted following targeted ultrasound teaching sessions. This may in turn have some role to play in the reduction of needle puncture attempts demonstrated by the data.
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