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Changing a clinical pathway to increase spinal anesthesia use for elective hip arthroplasty: a single-centre historical cohort study.

Mulumba KY, Mariano ER, Leng JC, Kou A, Hunter OO, Tamboli M, Memtsoudis SG, Mudumbai SC. Changing a clinical pathway to increase spinal anesthesia use for elective hip arthroplasty: a single-centre historical cohort study. Canadian journal of anaesthesia = Journal canadien d'anesthesie. 2023 Feb 1; 70(2):211-218.

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PURPOSE: International consensus recommendations support neuraxial anesthesia as the preferred anesthetic technique for total hip arthroplasty. We hypothesized that an institutional initiative to promote spinal anesthesia within a clinical pathway would result in increased use of this technique. METHODS: We reviewed primary unilateral total hip arthroplasty data between June 2017 and June 2019-one year before vs one year after implementation. The primary outcome was rate of spinal anesthesia use. Secondary outcomes included postoperative pain scores and opioid use, rates of postoperative complications, and unplanned resource use. We built a run chart-tracking rates of spinal anesthesia; compared postoperative outcomes based on anesthetic technique; and developed a mixed model, multivariable logistic regression with margins analysis evaluating the use of spinal anesthesia. RESULTS: The final sample included 172 patients (87 before and 85 after implementation) with no significant differences in baseline characteristics. For the primary outcome, 42/87 (48%) patients received spinal anesthesia before implementation compared with 48/85 (56%) postimplementation (unadjusted difference, 8%; 95% confidence interval, -7 to 23; P = 0.28). There were no differences in secondary outcomes. Factors associated with receipt of spinal anesthesia included American Society of Anesthesiologists Physical Status II (vs III), lower body mass index, and shorter case duration. Using a reduced mixed model, the average marginal effect was 10.7%, with an upper 95% confidence limit of 25.7%. CONCLUSION: Implementation of a clinical pathway change to promote spinal anesthesia for total hip arthroplasty may not have been associated with increased use of spinal anesthesia, but utilization rates can vary widely. Baseline spinal anesthesia usage at our institution was higher than the USA national average, and many factors may influence choice of anesthesia technique. Patients who receive spinal anesthesia have decreased opioid requirements and pain scores postoperatively.

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