Document Detail

Crisis management during anaesthesia: water intoxication.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  15933297     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
BACKGROUND: Irrigation of closed body spaces may lead to substantial perioperative fluid and electrolyte shifts. A syndrome occurring during transurethral resection of prostate (TURP), and a similar syndrome described in women undergoing transcervical endometrial ablation (TCEA) are both characterised by a spectrum of symptoms which may range from asymptomatic hyponatraemia to convulsions, coma, and death. Such potentially serious consequences require prompt recognition and appropriate management of this "water intoxication" syndrome. OBJECTIVES: To examine the role of a previously described core algorithm "COVER ABCD-A SWIFT CHECK", supplemented by a specific sub-algorithm for water intoxication, in the management of this syndrome occurring in association with anaesthesia. METHODS: The potential performance of this structured approach for each of the relevant incidents among the first 4000 reported to the Australian Incident Monitoring Study (AIMS) was compared with the actual management as reported by the anaesthetists involved. RESULTS: From the first 4000 incidents reported to AIMS, 10 reports of water intoxication were identified, two from endometrial ablations under general anaesthesia and eight from male urological procedures under spinal anaesthesia. The "core" crisis management algorithm detected a problem in seven cases; however, it was deficient in dealing with neurological presentations. Diagnosis of the cause of the incident would have required a specific water intoxication sub-algorithm in eight cases and a hypotension algorithm in a further two cases. Corrective strategies also required a specific sub-algorithm in eight cases, while the hypotension and cardiac arrest sub-algorithms were required in conjunction with the water intoxication sub-algorithm in the remaining two. CONCLUSION: This relatively uncommon problem is managed poorly using the "core" crisis management sub-algorithm and requires a simple specific sub-algorithm for water intoxication.
M T Kluger; S M Szekely; R J Singleton; S C Helps
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Quality & safety in health care     Volume:  14     ISSN:  1475-3901     ISO Abbreviation:  Qual Saf Health Care     Publication Date:  2005 Jun 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2005-06-03     Completed Date:  2007-04-19     Revised Date:  2009-11-18    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  101136980     Medline TA:  Qual Saf Health Care     Country:  England    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  e23     Citation Subset:  H    
Department of Anaesthesiology and Perioperative Medicine, North Shore Hospital, Auckland, New Zealand.
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MeSH Terms
Anesthesia / adverse effects*
Anesthesiology / methods*,  standards
Intraoperative Complications / therapy*
Manuals as Topic
Monitoring, Intraoperative
Risk Management
Task Performance and Analysis
Water Intoxication / diagnosis,  etiology,  therapy*

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