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Anaesthesia. 2011 Jul;66(7):556-62. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2044.2011.06661.x. Epub 2011 May 13.

Estimating the time needed for induction of anaesthesia and its importance in balancing anaesthetists' and surgeons' waiting times around the start of surgery.

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Department of Anaesthesiology and Intensive Care, Campus Charité Mitte and Campus Virchow Klinikum, Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Berlin, Germany.


After the anaesthetist has induced anaesthesia, it is desirable that the surgeon is present and ready to start surgery, otherwise the team needs to wait for the surgeon. From another perspective, however, the surgeon does not necessarily wish to be present from the start of induction, since that process can take a variable time and the surgeon might be otherwise occupied in productive activity rather than waiting for the patient to be ready. Waiting times in the morning can therefore be a source of constant friction between anaesthetists and surgeons. In this prospective study we used the data from 718 first cases of the day, during a 4-week study period at two university hospitals, to develop a simple spreadsheet-based method to analyse the interaction of anaesthesia and surgical start time, anaesthesia technique and the probability of waiting time for anaesthetist or surgeon, respectively. This method can be used to determine the best surgical or anaesthesia start time for each case, so that the waiting time for anaesthetists and surgeons can be minimised.

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