Publications by authors named "Pamela Angle"

16 Publications

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Guideline No. 416: Labour, Delivery, and Postpartum Care for People with Physical Disabilities.

J Obstet Gynaecol Can 2021 Feb 22. Epub 2021 Feb 22.

Calgary, AB.

Objective: To describe evidence-based practice for managing the labour, delivery, and postpartum care of people with physical disabilities in Canada.

Target Population: This guideline addresses the needs of people with physical disabilities, with a focus on conditions that affect strength and mobility, as well as those that affect neurological or musculoskeletal function or structure. Although aspects of this guideline may apply to people with solely intellectual, developmental, or sensory disabilities (e.g., hearing and vision loss), the needs of this population are beyond the scope of this guideline.

Outcomes: Safe and compassionate care for people with physical disabilities who are giving birth.

Benefits, Harms, And Costs: Implementation of this guideline will improve health care provider awareness of specific complications people with physical disabilities may experience during labour, delivery, and the postpartum period and therefore increase the likelihood of a safe birth.

Evidence: A literature review was conducted using MEDLINE (474), Embase (36), and the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL; 28) databases. The results have been filtered for English language, publication date of 2013 to present, observational studies, systematic reviews, meta-analyses, and guidelines and references in these publications were also reviewed.

Validation Methods: The authors rated the quality of evidence and strength of recommendations using the Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development and Evaluation approach. See online Appendix A (Tables A1 for definitions and A2 for interpretations of strong and weak recommendations).

Intended Audience: Maternal-fetal medicine specialists, obstetricians, family physicians, nurses, midwives, neurologists, physiatrists, and those who care for people with physical disabilities.

Recommendations:
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jogc.2021.02.111DOI Listing
February 2021

Directive clinique n 416 : Soins pendant l'accouchement et la période post-partum chez les personnes ayant un handicap physique.

J Obstet Gynaecol Can 2021 Feb 20. Epub 2021 Feb 20.

Calgary, Alb.

Objectif: Décrire les pratiques fondées sur des données probantes en matière de prise en charge des soins pendant l'accouchement et la période post-partum chez les personnes ayant un handicap physique au Canada.

Population Cible: La présente directive clinique aborde les besoins des personnes ayant un handicap physique en mettant l'accent sur les problèmes de santé qui affectent la force et la mobilité, ainsi que sur ceux qui touchent les fonctions ou structures neurologiques ou musculosquelettiques. Bien que certains aspects de cette directive puissent s'appliquer aux personnes ayant une déficience intellectuelle, un trouble neurodéveloppemental ou un handicap sensoriel (p. ex., perte auditive ou visuelle) seulement, les besoins de cette population sortent du cadre de la présente directive. RéSULTATS: Prestation de soins sûrs et empathiques aux personnes parturientes ayant un handicap physique. BéNéFICES, RISQUES ET COûTS: La mise en œuvre de la présente directive permettra aux fournisseurs de soins de santé de mieux connaître les complications particulières que peuvent présenter les personnes ayant un handicap physique pendant l'accouchement et la période post-partum, ce qui augmentera la probabilité d'un accouchement sécuritaire. DONNéES PROBANTES: Une revue de la littérature a été effectuée à l'aide des bases de données MEDLINE (474), Embase(36) et le Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL; 28). Les résultats ont été filtrés pour obtenir des études observationnelles, des revues systématiques, des méta-analyses et des directives publiées en anglais depuis 2013. Les références de ces articles ont également été passées en revue. MéTHODES DE VALIDATION: Les auteurs ont évalué la qualité des données probantes et la solidité des recommandations en utilisant la méthodologie GRADE (Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development and Evaluation). Voir l'annexe A en ligne (tableau A1 pour les définitions et tableau A2 pour l'interprétation des recommandations fortes et faibles). PUBLIC VISé: Spécialistes en médecine fœto-maternelle, obstétriciens, médecins de famille, infirmières, sages-femmes, neurologues, physiatres et autres professionnels qui donnent des soins aux personnes ayant un handicap physique.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jogc.2021.02.112DOI Listing
February 2021

Performance of the Angle Labor Pain Questionnaire During Initiation of Epidural Analgesia in Early Active Labor.

Anesth Analg 2016 12;123(6):1546-1553

From the *Sunnybrook Research Institute, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, Toronto, ON, Canada; †Division of Obstetrical Anesthesia, Department of Anesthesia, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, Toronto, ON, Canada; ‡Clinical Epidemiology, Institute for Health Management and Evaluation, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada; §University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada; ‖Evidence-Based Health Programme, Kellogg College, Oxford University, Oxford, UK; ¶Obstetrical Anesthesia Research Unit, Sunnybrook Research Institute, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, Toronto, ON, Canada; #School of Nursing, Faculty of Health, York University, Toronto, ON, Canada; **Obstetrical Anesthesia Research Unit, Sunnybrook Research Institute, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, Toronto, ON, Canada; ††Women and Babies, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, Toronto, ON, Canada; ‡‡Sunnybrook Research Institute, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, Toronto, ON, Canada; and §§Research Design and Biostatistics, Sunnybrook Research Institute, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, Toronto, ON, Canada.

Background: The Angle Labor Pain Questionnaire (A-LPQ) is a new, 22-item multidimensional psychometric questionnaire that measures the 5 most important dimensions of women's childbirth pain experiences using 5 subscales: The Enormity of the Pain, Fear/Anxiety, Uterine Contraction Pain, Birthing Pain, and Back Pain/Long Haul. Previous work showed that the A-LPQ has overall good psychometric properties and performance during early active labor in women without pain relief. The current study assessed the tool's sensitivity to change during initiation of labor epidural analgesia with the standardized response mean (SRM, primary outcome).

Methods: Two versions of the A-LPQ were administered once, in each of 2 test sessions, by the same trained interviewer during early active labor. The sequence of administration was randomized (ie, standard question order version [Test 1] followed by mixed version [Test 2] or vice versa). Test 1 was completed before epidural insertion; Test 2 commenced 20 to 30 minutes after the test dose. Providers assessed/treated pain independently of the study. Sensitivity to change was assessed using SRMs, Cohen's d, and paired t tests. Overall pain intensity was concurrently examined using Numeric Rating Scale and the Verbal Rating Scale (VRS); coping was assessed with the Pain Mastery Scale. Changes in pain were measured with the Patient Global Impression of Change Scale. Internal consistency was assessed with Cronbach's α. Concurrent validity with other tools was assessed using Spearman's rank correlation coefficient.

Results: A total of 51 complete datasets were analyzed. Most women reported moderate (63%, 32/51) or severe (18%, 9/51) baseline pain on VRS scores during Test 1; 29% (15/51) reported mild pain, and 6% (3/51) reported moderate pain during Test 2. Approximately 90% (46/51) of women reported much or very much improved pain at the end of testing. Cronbach's α for A-LPQ summary scores was excellent (0.94) and ranged from 0.78 (acceptable) to 0.92 (excellent) for subscales (Test 1). Large SRMs were found for A-LPQ summary scores (1.6, 95% CI: 1.2, 2.1) and all subscales except the Birthing Pain subscale (moderate, 0.60, 95% CI: 0.23, 0.97). Significant (P < .001) differences were found between A-LPQ summary scores and between all subscales on paired t tests. Correlations between A-LPQ summary and Numeric Rating Scale scores (overall pain intensity) were strong (ρ > 0.73), correlations were moderate (ρ > 0.5) with VRS scores and coping scores (ρ > 0.67).

Conclusions: Findings support A-LPQ use for measurement of women's childbirth pain experiences during initiation of labor epidural analgesia during early active labor. Combined with our previous work, they also support the use of the A-LPQ in late labor and at delivery.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1213/ANE.0000000000001679DOI Listing
December 2016

The Angle Labor Pain Questionnaire: Reliability, Validity, Sensitivity to Change, and Responsiveness During Early Active Labor Without Pain Relief.

Clin J Pain 2017 02;33(2):132-141

*Sunnybrook Research Institute ¶Obstetrical Anesthesia Research Unit, Sunnybrook Research Institute ††Research Design and Biostatistics, Sunnybrook Research Institute †Department of Anesthesia, Division of Obstetrical Anesthesia **Women and Babies, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre ‡Clinical Epidemiology, Institute for Health Management and Evaluation, University of Toronto #School of Nursing, Faculty of Health, York University, Toronto, ON §University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada ∥Evidence-based Health Programme, Kellogg College, Oxford University, Oxford, UK.

Objectives: The Angle Labor Pain Questionnaire (A-LPQ) is a new, condition-specific, multidimensional psychometric instrument that measures the most important dimensions of women's childbirth pain experiences using 5 subscales: The Enormity of the Pain, Fear/Anxiety, Uterine Contraction Pain, Birthing Pain, and Back Pain/Long Haul. This study assessed the A-LPQ's test-retest reliability during early active labor without pain relief.

Methods: Two versions of the A-LPQ were randomly administered to laboring women during 2 test sessions separated by a 20-minute window. Participants were of mixed parity, contracting ≥3 minutes apart, cervical dilation ≤6 cm, and without pain relief. Changes in pain were rated using the Patient Global Impression of Change Scale. Overall pain intensity and pain coping were rated using the Numeric Rating Scale (NRS) and the Verbal Rating Scale (VRS) and the Pain Mastery Scale (PMS) respectively. A-LPQ test-retest reliability (primary outcome), Cronbach's α, and concurrent validity with NRS, VRS, and PMS scores were assessed (n=104). Responsiveness was assessed in 55 women who reported changes in pain.

Results: A-LPQ summary and subscale scores demonstrated good test-retest reliability (ICCs, 0.96 to 0.89), trivial to moderate sensitivity to change, and high responsiveness to minimal changes in pain (0.85 to 1.50). Cronbach's α for A-LPQ summary scores was excellent (0.94) and ranged from 0.72 to 0.94 for subscales. Concurrent validity was supported by moderate to strong correlations with NRS and VRS scores for overall pain intensity and PMS scores for pain coping.

Discussion: Findings support A-LPQ use for assessing women's childbirth pain experiences.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/AJP.0000000000000386DOI Listing
February 2017

Elective cesarean delivery in non-dialyzed parturient with chronic renal failure.

J Anaesthesiol Clin Pharmacol 2013 Jan;29(1):102-4

Department of Obstetric Anesthesia, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, University of Toronto, ON, Canada.

Chronic renal failure is rare in pregnancy and often results in significant maternal and neonatal morbidity. When possible, preoperative dialysis is useful to optimize fluid and electrolyte balance. We describe the perioperative management of a parturient who persistently refused dialysis, had an uneventful cesarean delivery under graded epidural anesthesia.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.4103/0970-9185.105814DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3590511PMC
January 2013

Case report: Rhabdomyolysis in morbidly obese patients: anesthetic considerations.

Can J Anaesth 2013 Mar 17;60(3):290-3. Epub 2012 Nov 17.

Department of Anesthesia, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, University of Toronto, 2075 Bayview Avenue,Toronto, ON, Canada.

Purpose: We report the presentation and management of rhabdomyolysis involving shoulder girdle and upper arm muscles in a morbidly obese patient after prolonged laparoscopic surgery.

Clinical Features: A 41-yr-old morbidly obese woman presented for laparoscopic abdominal hysterectomy. She had hypertension and type II diabetes which were controlled on regular medications. She also had obstructive sleep apnea. Her clinical examination and investigations revealed no abnormality except morbid obesity (body mass index 54 kg·m(-2)) and left ventricular hypertrophy on transthoracic echocardiogram. Standard general anesthesia was administered under baseline non-invasive monitors. Succinylcholine was used to secure the airway during anesthetic induction. Surgery was performed with the patient positioned with a 15° head-down tilt, and it took six hours to complete the procedure as technical difficulty was encountered due to her body habitus. Her trachea was extubated and she was transferred to the postanesthetic care unit (PACU) without incident. In the PACU, the patient complained of severe bilateral arm pain and weakness an hour after surgery. On physical examination, she exhibited limited movement of her arms against gravity while complaining of tenderness in her shoulder girdle muscles and both arms. Clinical suspicion of rhabdomyolysis based on her signs and symptoms was confirmed by an elevated serum creatinine kinase (CK) of 18,392 IU·L(-1) and serum potassium of 5.3 mmol·L(-1). Intravenous crystalloids and mannitol were administered for 24 hr for renal protection, and her clinical symptoms and serum CK levels improved over seven days. The patient was discharged to home on the tenth postoperative day, and she continued to improve over the three-month follow-up period.

Conclusions: Morbidly obese patients who undergo prolonged surgery are at risk for rhabdomyolysis, and early diagnosis and therapy are required to prevent severe complications.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12630-012-9823-4DOI Listing
March 2013

Phase 1 development of an index to measure the quality of neuraxial labour analgesia: exploring the perspectives of childbearing women.

Can J Anaesth 2010 May 13;57(5):468-78. Epub 2010 Mar 13.

Obstetric Anesthesia Research Unit, Women's College Hospital, 76 Grenville Street, Toronto, ON, M5S 1B2, Canada.

Purpose: Modern neuraxial labour analgesia reflects a shift in obstetrical anesthesia thinking - away from a simple focus on pain relief towards a focus on the overall quality of analgesia. However, advances in the methods used to measure outcomes have not kept pace with clinical progress, and these approaches must evolve to facilitate meaningful assessment of the advances provided towards the quality of analgesia. Developing a tool to measure the quality of neuraxial labour analgesia that research has achieved is best guided by women's perspectives. As the initial step in developing an instrument to quantitatively measure quality neuraxial labour analgesia, this qualitative descriptive study explored childbearing women's experiences and perspectives regarding this subject.

Methods: Twenty-eight postpartum women, all delivering with neuraxial labour analgesia, were recruited from three hospitals in the greater Toronto area. Twenty-five women described a priori plans to use neuraxial labour analgesia, or they described themselves as having been open to the idea. Women's experiences and perspectives of neuraxial labour analgesia were explored in focus groups and in-depth interviews < or =72 hr following childbirth.

Results: Four major themes emerged: 1)The Enormity of Labour Pain; 2) Fear and Anxiety Related to Epidural Pain Relief; 3) What Women Value about Epidural Pain Relief; and 4) The Relative Value of Achieving Epidural Pain Relief vs Avoidance of Epidural Drug Side Effects. Participants broadly described quality neuraxial labour analgesia as pain relief without side effects. Responses affirmed the importance of traditionally measured outcomes as attributes of quality neuraxial labour analgesia, e.g., pain relief and side effects, as well as the overall importance of pain control during labour and delivery. For research to capture the experience of quality neuraxial labour analgesia, findings suggest that this outcome involves physical, cognitive, and emotional dimensions that must be measured. The findings further suggest an important relationship between each of these dimensions and perceptions of control.

Conclusions: Women's perspectives must be incorporated into the assessment of quality neuraxial labour analgesia in order for research to measure this outcome in a meaningful manner. Study findings have important implications for scale development, interpretation of existing research, and antenatal education.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12630-010-9289-1DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2859165PMC
May 2010

Preload or coload for spinal anesthesia for elective Cesarean delivery: a meta-analysis.

Can J Anaesth 2010 Jan 27;57(1):24-31. Epub 2009 Oct 27.

Division of Obstetrical Anesthesia and the Obstetrical Anesthesia Research Unit of the Sunnybrook Research Institute, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre at Women's College Hospital, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, M5S 1B2, Canada.

Background: Hypotension following spinal anesthesia for Cesarean delivery is common. Fluid loading is recommended to prevent hypotension, but preload is often ineffective. In non-pregnant patients, coloading has been shown to better maintain cardiac output after spinal anesthesia. The purpose of this meta-analysis was to determine whether the timing of the fluid infusion, before (preload) or during (coload) induction of spinal anesthesia for Cesarean delivery, influences the incidence of maternal hypotension or neonatal outcome.

Methods: We retrieved randomized controlled trials that compared a fluid preload with coload in patients undergoing spinal anesthesia for elective Cesarean delivery. We graded the articles for quality of reporting (maximum score = 5) and recorded the incidence of hypotension, lowest blood pressure, the incidence of maternal nausea and vomiting, umbilical cord pH, and Apgar scores. We combined the results using random effects modelling.

Results: We retrieved eight studies comprised of 518 patients. The median quality score for the published studies was three. The incidence of hypotension in the coload group was 159/268 (59.3%) compared with 156/250 (62.4%) in the preload group (odds ratio [OR] = 0.93; 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.54-1.6). There were no significant differences between groups in any of the other outcomes.

Conclusions: It is unnecessary to delay surgery in order to deliver a preload of fluid. Regardless of the fluid loading strategy, the incidence of maternal hypotension is high. Prophylactic or therapeutic vasopressors may be required in a significant proportion of patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12630-009-9206-7DOI Listing
January 2010

Key issues and barriers to obstetrical anesthesia care in Ontario community hospitals with fewer than 2,000 deliveries annually.

Can J Anaesth 2009 Sep 17;56(9):667-77. Epub 2009 Jun 17.

Department of Anesthesia, Women's College Hospital, 76 Grenville Street, Toronto, ON M5S 1B2, Canada.

Purpose: Lack of the availability of anesthesia services may be a factor in the closure of maternity services in rural Canada, limiting the capacity for Cesarean delivery and intensifying the urbanization of maternity care. Unlike other professions involved in maternal newborn care, health services research in obstetrical anesthesia is virtually non-existent. This study explored barriers physicians encountered in providing obstetrical anesthesia care in Ontario community hospitals experiencing low volumes (fewer than 2,000) deliveries per annum (PA). Solutions proposed by a mixed focus group of academic and community hospital leaders were also described.

Methods: Following Research Ethics Board approval, the authors performed a secondary analysis of qualitative data from 18 anesthesiologists and family practitioner (FP/GP) anesthetists who had participated in a larger provincial study that was also conducted by the authors. Participants were leaders from community hospitals with fewer than 2000 deliveries PA and university-based teaching programs from across Ontario. Fourteen community physicians participated in focus groups that explored key issues and barriers to care and their potential solutions. A final group of eight academic and community physician key informants further explored solutions.

Findings: Three themes emerged: Obstetrical Anesthesia in the "Periphery", "Key Issues and Barriers to Obstetrical Anesthesia Care", and "A Multi-faceted but Context-Specific Solution is Required." The physicians identified barriers within the greater context of those encountered during the provision of anesthesia services in the periphery, including lack of time, need for continuing medical education (CME), need for hospital infrastructure support to develop and implement best practice protocols, and need for resources and anesthesia mentorship supports from the system. Difficulties were greatest for FP/GP anesthetists in rural communities who described lack of locums, need for relevant CME, and worsening physician shortages threatening provision of services in some rural hospitals. Family practitioner anesthetist multi-taskers were described as the best solution to the provider shortage in rural communities. Participants described the need for increased numbers of FP/GP anesthetists and the development of formal funded networks for knowledge transfer between academic and community hospitals as a mechanism to provide supports.

Conclusions: Physicians in community hospitals face significant barriers in the provision of obstetrical anesthesia care. These are greatest among FP/GP anesthetists and in rural hospitals where physician shortages and lack of supports threaten provision of services in some hospitals. Local context-specific and systems-level solutions are required.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12630-009-9128-4DOI Listing
September 2009

The effect of epidural needle type on postdural puncture headache: a randomized trial.

Can J Anaesth 2006 Jun;53(6):572-8

Department of Anesthesia and Perioperative Medicine, Schulich School of Medicine, University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario, Canada.

Purpose: A prospective, randomized trial in labouring parturients was undertaken to assess whether the 18G Special Sprotte epidural needle is associated with a lower incidence of accidental dural puncture (ADP) in comparison with the 17G Tuohy needle. A secondary purpose was to determine if the incidence of postdural puncture headache (PDPH ) differed between groups when ADP occurred.

Methods: Following Institutional Review Board approval 1,077 parturients requesting epidural analgesia at three tertiary obstetrical units were randomized to epidural catheter insertion with a 17G Tuohy or 18G Special Sprotte needle. Patients were followed for seven days by a blinded assessor to determine the occurrence of PDPH using standardized criteria. If postural headache or neck ache presented, an ADP was diagnosed even if cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) was not observed at insertion. This subgroup was followed daily to assess headache characteristics and response to blood patch.

Results: Six Tuohy group patients, and two patients in the Sprotte group were excluded. One of the six excluded in the Tuohy group had an ADP. Twenty-eight ADPs occurred, nine unrecognized by CSF visualization (1.8% Tuohy, 3.4% Sprotte, P = 0.12). The incidence of unrecognized ADPs was higher in the Sprotte group (40% Sprotte vs 20% Tuohy, P < 0.05). If ADP occurred, the incidence of PDPH was lower in the Sprotte group (100% Tuohy vs 55% Sprotte, P = 0.025). The ease of use, and user satisfaction were higher in the Tuohy group (84 +/- 17.3% Tuohy vs 68.2 +/- 25.3% Sprotte, P < 0.001).

Conclusion: The incidence of ADP was not reduced with the Special Sprotte epidural needle in comparison with the Tuohy needle, but PDPH after ADP occurred less frequently in the Sprotte group.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/BF03021847DOI Listing
June 2006

High quality labour analgesia using small gauge epidural needles and catheters.

Can J Anaesth 2006 Mar;53(3):263-7

Department of Anesthesia, Sunnybrook and Women's College Health Sciences Centre, University of Toronto, Ontario M5S 1B2, Canada.

Purpose: Inadvertent epidural needle punctures represent the leading cause of severe postdural puncture headache (PDPH) in parturients. Use of small gauge (G) epidural needles for continuous analgesia has received little attention despite possible important reductions in PDPH. We report the first study to examine the feasibility of using small G Tuohy needles and 23 G catheters for labour analgesia.

Methods: Healthy parturients 30 min), recognized dural puncture, PDPH, patient assessment of analgesia within 24 hr of delivery, complications and anesthesiologist satisfaction.

Results: Twenty-seven parturients were recruited. Successful blocks were initiated and maintained in 24/27 who rated overall analgesia from good to excellent (19/24 very good to excellent). Three block failures occurred at the initiation phase only (two unilateral, one absent). There was no evidence of catheter kinking after placement. One patient developed PDPH after unrecognized dural puncture which was self-treated with acetaminophen for four days, followed by complete symptom resolution.

Conclusion: It is feasible to provide high quality labour analgesia using small G epidural needles and catheters. The effect of small G epidural needles on PDPH warrants future study.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/BF03022213DOI Listing
March 2006

Expectant management of postdural puncture headache increases hospital length of stay and emergency room visits.

Can J Anaesth 2005 Apr;52(4):397-402

Department of Anesthesiology, Women's College Hospital Campus, Sunnybrook and Women's College Health Sciences Center, 76 Grenville Street, Toronto, Ontario M5S 1B2, Canada.

Purpose: This retrospective cohort study examined hospital length of stay (LOS) and emergency room (ER) visits in parturients diagnosed with postdural puncture headache (PDPH) following recognized dural puncture (DP). All cases were managed expectantly. Outcomes were compared with matched controls with uneventful labour epidurals.

Methods: After Ethics Committee approval, the hospital perinatal database was used to identify healthy parturients with recognized DP during labour epidural placement from 1996-2001. Women developing PDPH after expectant management were matched with women with uneventful epidurals and no evidence of PDPH, as well as by parity, delivery mode and admission date. All women delivered term singletons. The primary outcome was LOS (hours) from delivery to discharge. Secondary outcomes included: number (#) nights in hospital, #ER visits for PDPH, epidural blood patch (EBP) timing (pre vs post discharge), EBP location (ward vs ER) and blood volumes used.

Results: 26 cases and 26 controls were identified. Precise discharge times were found for 23 cases and 23 controls. In cases, the LOS was increased by a mean of 17 +/- 23.8 (SD) hours; [95% conficence interval (CI) = 8, 26; P = 0.0012] and # nights in hospital was increased by a mean of 0.62 +/- 0.94 nights (95% CI, 0.26, 0.98, P = 0.0027). Nineteen cases (73% 19/26) received at least one EBP. Sixteen cases received at least one EBP prior to discharge with 38% (6/16) returning to ER for re-assessment/repeat EBP. Forty-four percent (4/9) of cases without an EBP prior to discharge returned to ER for further assessment/EBP.

Conclusion: PDPH leads to a significant increase in hospital LOS and ER visits. Studies of preventive therapy are warranted.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/BF03016283DOI Listing
April 2005

Identification of the epidural space.

Anesth Analg 2005 Apr;100(4):1218; author reply 1218

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1213/01.ANE.0000149013.28177.EEDOI Listing
April 2005

Epidural catheter penetration of human dural tissue: in vitro investigation.

Anesthesiology 2004 Jun;100(6):1491-6

Department of Anesthesia, Women's College Hospital Campus, Sunnybrook and Women's College Hospital, University of Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Background: Factors contributing to subarachnoid catheter passage after epidural placement are not well understood. This study explored mechanisms that might explain its occurrence.

Methods: Human cadaveric dura was mounted on a model and pressurized to physiologic levels. In a standardized fashion, a 20-gauge Portex three-port, closed end (nonflexible) tip catheter was passed through an epidural needle mounted on a micromanipulator at a 90 degree angle, attempting to penetrate dura with the catheter. Attempts then followed with a 19-gauge Arrow Flex Tip Plus single-port catheter. Subarachnoid catheter passage was compared in (1) intact dura, (2) clinically occult versus obvious epidural needle punctures, and (3) single 25-gauge Whitacre spinal needle punctures after combined spinal-epidural placement.

Results: Neither catheter penetrated intact dura: Portex, 0 of 300 attempts (0.0000; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.0000, 0.0158); Arrow, 0 of 300 attempts (0.0000; 95% CI: 0.0000, 0.0158). In clinically occult epidural needle punctures, the 20-gauge Portex catheter penetrated 1 of 3 specimens in 1 of 14 attempts (0.0714; 95% CI: 0.0021, 0.3583). The 19-gauge Arrow did not pass (0 of 15 attempts, 0.0000; 95% CI: 0.0000, 0.2535). In clinically obvious epidural needle punctures, the Portex passed in 6 of 33 attempts (0.1818; 95% CI: 0.0760, 0.3608) and the Arrow passed in 1 of 35 attempts (0.0286; 95% CI: 0.0012, 0.1662). Neither catheter passed through a single 25-gauge spinal needle puncture after an uncomplicated combined spinal-epidural: Portex, 0 of 90 attempts (0.0000; 95% CI: 0.0000, 0.0510); Arrow, 0 of 90 attempts (0.0000; 95% CI: 0.0000, 0.0510).

Conclusions: Catheter passage is unlikely in the presence of intact dura or after an uncomplicated combined spinal-epidural. Unintentional subarachnoid passage suggests dural damage with the epidural needle.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/00000542-200406000-00022DOI Listing
June 2004

Dural tissue trauma and cerebrospinal fluid leak after epidural needle puncture: effect of needle design, angle, and bevel orientation.

Anesthesiology 2003 Dec;99(6):1376-82

Department of Anesthesia, Women's College Hospital Campus, Sunnybrook and Women's College Hospital, University of Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Background: The effects of epidural needle design, angle, and bevel orientation on cerebrospinal fluid leak after puncture have not been reported. The impact of these factors on leak rate was examined using a dural sac model. Dural trauma was examined using scanning electron microscopy.

Methods: Human cadaveric dura, mounted on a cylindrical model, was punctured with epidural needles using a micromanipulator. Tissue was punctured at 15 cm H2O (left lateral decubitus) system pressure, and leak was measured at 25 cm H2O (semisitting) pressure. Leak rates and trauma were compared for the following: (1) six different epidural needles at 90 degrees, bevel parallel to the dural long axis; (2) 18-gauge Tuohy and 18-gauge Special Sprotte epidural needles, 30 degrees versus 90 degrees; (3) 18-gauge Tuohy, bevel perpendicular versus parallel to the dural long axis.

Results: With the 90 degrees puncture, bevel parallel, the greatest leak occurred with a 17-gauge Hustead (516 +/- 319 ml/15 min), and the smallest leak occurred with a 20-gauge Tuohy (100 +/- 112 ml/15 min; P = 0.0018). A 20-gauge Tuohy puncture led to statistically significant reductions in leak (P value range, 0.0001-0.0024) compared with all needles except the Special Sprotte. With the 30 degrees versus 90 degrees angle, 30 degrees punctures with an 18-gauge Tuohy produced nonstatistically significant leak reductions compared with the 18-gauge Tuohy at 90 degrees. The puncture angle made no difference for the Special Sprotte. Nonsignificant reductions were found for the Special Sprotte compared with the Tuohy. With the 18-gauge Tuohy bevel orientation, perpendicular orientation produced nonstatistically significant reductions in leak compared with parallel orientation.

Conclusions: Cerebrospinal fluid leak after puncture was influenced most by epidural needle gauge. Leak rate was significantly less for the 20-gauge Tuohy needle.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/00000542-200312000-00021DOI Listing
December 2003

A randomized controlled trial examining the effect of naproxen on analgesia during the second day after cesarean delivery.

Anesth Analg 2002 Sep;95(3):741-5, table of contents

Department of Anesthesia, Women's College Hospital Campus, Sunnybrook and Women's College Health Sciences Center, University of Toronto, 76 Grenville Street, Toronto, Ontario, M5S 1B2 Canada.

Unlabelled: Whereas nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs augment spinal morphine on Day l, the analgesia gained by simply combining these drugs with conventional "on request" oral regimens on Day 2 is less clear. In this trial, we randomized 80 women undergoing elective cesarean delivery with spinal morphine (0.2 mg) to receive naproxen (500 mg) or placebo every 12 h after surgery. Both groups received conventional therapy with acetaminophen with codeine (on request) and rescue IM opioids. Incision pain on sitting (IPS), incision pain at rest, uterine cramping, and gas pain were evaluated with visual analog scales (0-100). Worst interval pain (0-10), analgesic use, and side effects were measured over 72 h. At 36 h (primary outcome), naproxen use was associated with reductions in IPS (38.2 +/- 26.0 versus 51.4 +/- 25.7; P = 0.05), incision pain at rest, uterine cramping, and worst interval pain scores. Clinically modest, statistically significant reductions in IPS (P = 0.0001) and opioid use were found over time (P < 0.0l). Reductions in the incidence of inadequate analgesia and improvements in overall pain relief (P = 0.0006) on Day l did not persist on Day 2 (overall pain relief, P = 0.057; inadequate analgesia, 24% naproxen versus 27% controls; P = 1.00). The addition of regular doses of naproxen to conventional oral pain therapy after cesarean delivery leads to reductions in IPS at 36 h and pain over Day 2 but does not reduce the incidence of inadequate analgesia.

Implications: This randomized trial suggests that adding regular doses of naproxen to conventional "on request" acetaminophen and codeine therapy provides small reductions in pain on the second day after cesarean delivery. The greatest effects occur at 36 h, when pain peaks.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/00000539-200209000-00038DOI Listing
September 2002