J Clin Anesth 2010 Feb;22(1):13-21
Department of Anesthesia, University Hospital Basel, CH-4031 Basel, Switzerland.
Study Objective: To evaluate the incidence of perioperative minor adverse events and to analyze patient satisfaction based on potential explanatory variables.
Design: Structured, face-to-face interview of 25% of all patients undergoing surgery during the period from January 2003 through June 2006.
Setting: Academic university medical center.
Patients: 12,276 patients (5,793 men and 6,483 women) from all surgical disciplines: 7,440 patients had general anesthesia, 4,236 patients had regional anesthesia, and 600 patients had a combined general-regional anesthetic technique.
Measurements: Occurrence of perioperative minor adverse events was assessed during the interview. Patient satisfaction was measured with a 4-point Likert scale.
Main Results: 3,652 (30%) patients reported at least one perioperative complaint and 737 (6%) patients reported multiple minor adverse events. Overall, a total of 4,475 minor adverse events were reported. Leading adverse events included postoperative nausea and vomiting (1,705 complaints), sore throat (1,228 complaints), and hoarseness (802 complaints). Patient satisfaction with anesthetic care was generally high (97% satisfied or highly satisfied). Patients were significantly more satisfied following regional than general anesthesia (P < 0.001). Patient dissatisfaction was also associated with the occurrence of at least one minor adverse event (P < 0.001) or with increasing ASA physical status (P < 0.001).
Conclusion: Minor events occur with a surprisingly high incidence and are significantly associated with patient dissatisfaction. Regional anesthesia is associated with fewer patient complaints and significantly higher postoperative patient satisfaction.