Background and Aims The present survey was designed to ascertain impact of pandemic on regional anaesthesia(RA) practice, the strategies necessary to counter the hinderances and improve its safe utilization.
Methods After IRB approval and CTRI, this validated google form based cross-sectional survey was circulated through social-media platforms to various anaesthesiologists using a snowball sampling technique. The participation was voluntary and survey included questions to assess the challenges faced in pursuing RA during COVID era, effect of PPE, effect on training/research activities related to RA and the strategies adopted to overcome challenges.
Results A total of 532 anaesthesiologists filled the survey and majority(86%) were from a teaching hospital. 68.5% felt there was an increase in RA use post COVID -19. A web-based learning for regional anaesthesia was provided to 61% of respondents. While performing RA in positive patients, majority felt that PPE resulted in poor vision due to fogging(91%), increased attempts( 63%) and performance time(46.9%). Disposable plastic drapes were preferred by most( 75%) and sharps were collected in separate bags for disposal(53%). After surgery, the OR was cleaned using sodium hypochlorite (37.6%), hydrogen peroxide ( 37%) or 75% alcohol ( 55.26%) and a sterile camera cover was used by most (65.8%) respondents.
Conclusions RA was preferred if feasible in COVID-19 patients and its utilization increased during COVID. Use of PPE hindered the performance of blocks. Regarding sterility practices, disposable drapes were preferred, and more stringent measures were used for cleaning the ultrasound machine used and the OT following the case in COVID era.