Background and objective: In October 2000, we conducted a national postal survey of day case consultant anaesthetists in the UK to explore the range and variation in practice of anaesthetizing a patient for day case surgery (paediatrics, urology and orthopaedics). This paper reports the findings of this national survey of paediatric day case anaesthetic practice carried out as part of a major two-centre randomized controlled trial designed to investigate the costs and outcome of several anaesthetic techniques during day care surgery in paediatric and adult patients (cost-effectiveness study of anaesthesia in day case surgery).
Methods: The survey used a structured postal questionnaire and collected data on the duration of surgical procedure; the use of premedication; the anaesthetic agents used for induction and maintenance; the fresh gas flow rates used for general anaesthesia; the use of antiemetics; and the administration of local anaesthesia and analgesia.
Results: The overall response rate for the survey was 74 and 63% for the paediatric section of the survey. Respondents indicated that 19% used premedication, 63% used propofol for induction, 54% used isoflurane for maintenance, 24% used prophylactic antiemetics and 85% used a laryngeal mask. The findings of this national survey are discussed and compared with published evidence.
Conclusions: This survey identifies the variation in clinical practice in paediatric day surgery anaesthesia in the UK.