Background and Aims This service evaluation project assesses anaesthetic technique efficiency and postoperative analgesia, comparing general anaesthesia versus axillary brachial plexus block performed for plastic hand trauma surgery.
Methods Retrospective data were collected from electronic records between June 2020 and May 2022. Fifty-two patients who received axillary brachial plexus were randomly matched with an equal number of patients who received general anaesthesia for plastic hand trauma surgery. The measured outcomes were (1) anaesthetic time, (2) postoperative opioid consumption in 24 hours expressed as oral morphine dose equivalence, (3) time spent in the recovery room and (4) time to hospital discharge. Data were analysed using the Mann-Whitney U test.
Results The table 1 below summarises measured outcomes comparing general anaesthesia to axillary brachial plexus block for plastic hand trauma surgery.
Conclusions Although general anaesthetic time was shorter than axillary brachial plexus block time, patients who received brachial plexus block spent less time in recovery and required less opioid analgesia. This project could support introducing block rooms to optimise theatre efficiency.
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