General anesthesia practices during the COVID-19 pandemic in Turkey: a cohort study with a national survey
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KünyeAksu, C., Cesur, S., Kuş, A., and Toker, K.. (2020). General Anesthesia Practices During the COVID-19 Pandemic in Turkey: A Cohort Study With a National Survey. Cureus. Cureus. http://doi.org/10.7759/cureus.10910
Introduction This study aimed to examine the anesthesia practices applied to the cases during the pandemic, to analyze the rate of the precautions taken in emergency/elective operations in non-COVID patients, what precautions were taken, what resources the clinics had, and the patient management in the perioperative period by organizing a survey among anesthesiologist in Turkey. Methods After obtaining approval from the Turkish Ministry of Health (2020-05-04T09_30_03) and the local ethics committee (GOKAEK-2020/10.09), a survey consisting of 21 questions was formed over the online survey inquiry (surveymonkey.com). The survey was conducted in Turkish. Results The survey aimed at reaching the anesthesiologists, who were Turkish Anesthesiology and Reanimation Society (TARD) members, by e-mail, and it was seen that 120 people out of approximately 2700 members who had received our e-mail participated in the survey. After the first case was reported in our country, it was understood that 62.1% of the participants stopped accepting elective cases in their institutions. The anesthesia method preferred in this period was general anesthesia by 47.6%, regional anesthesia by 52.1%, and sedation by 0.3%. The arrival time of coronavirus disease COVID-19 tests (PCR and/or rapid diagnostic kits showing antibodies) to the hospital was questioned; seven people (5.83%) stated that tests were not performed at their hospitals. It was observed that tests arrived and were applied at the hospitals of the remaining participants in an average of 2.7 +/- 1.6 weeks. It was determined that 59.32% of the participants avoided positive pressure ventilation after induction, 5.98% of the intubation on the patients were performed by anesthesia technicians, 66.67% by anesthesiologists, 25.64% by senior resident doctors with at least two years of experience, and 1.71% by junior anesthesia assistants with less than two years of experience. The use of personal protective equipment (PPE) is applied by 95% of the participants. 22.69% of the participants stated that they preferred to use supraglottic airway (SGA) devices during this period. While 45.06% of the participants stated that they provided oxygen support to the patient with the mask belonging to the circuit after extubation, 14.8% preferred the nasal cannula, and 33.1% used an oxygen mask. Our results showed that 90% of additional precautions were taken in our country's clinics, and 95% of PPE was used. Also, the use of video laryngoscope (VL) was 75% in this period. Finally, it was found that 50.85% of the patients were taken to the recovery unit after being extubated, and 49.15% were sent directly to the service. Conclusion We can reveal that each clinic made arrangements according to its own conditions. We think that plans should be made to standardize clinical facilities and algorithms throughout the country. Apart from technological and financial facilities, we believe that the continuity of the training organized by national and international associations should be ensured so that anesthesiologists' knowledge, skills, and experience who manage this process can remain at the highest level.