Should pre-anaesthesia consultations be done telephonically?

It’s tempting to think that a patient undergoing surgery has little to do to ensure the operation is a success – after all, they’re anaesthetised or sedated – but the reality is that a patient should be an active participant in the procedure. Whereas the focus may be on the surgeon during the operation, the most significant responsibility in ensuring the patient is best prepared for their role usually falls on the anaesthesiologist. One Austrian anaesthesiologist and critical care physician is drawing attention to an increasingly important part of patient preparation.

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A simple solution where lives are at stake

A hospital’s emergency department triage unit is a high-pressured work environment where situations are often fluid and poor communication can have serious, tragic consequences. But hospitals, like any other extensive work system, demand compliance procedures that can be time-consuming and constraining for triage staff. So how can hospitals balance compliance with the realities of novel and evolving scenarios such as those at an emergency department? Professor Thierry Morineau of the University of Southern Brittany in France believes the answer lies in less compliance.

The image of a typical hospital emergency department (ED) – for those who’ve never worked in one or been lucky enough not to end up in one – is probably framed by popular hospital-themed TV series. An ED is an action-packed, seemingly chaotic environment with endless arrivals of ambulances filled with critically injured people, cared for by hurried staff exchanging calls of