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Year : 2016  |  Volume : 32  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 519-522

Is dedicating an ultrasound machine to regional anesthesia an economically viable option?

Department of Anaesthesiology, Holy Spirit Hospital, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India

Correspondence Address:
Vrushali Ponde
Department of Anaesthesiology, Holy Sprit Hospital, Mahakali Caves Road, Andheri East, Mumbai, Maharashtra
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0970-9185.194767

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Background and Aims: The cost effectiveness of ultrasound-guided regional anesthesia is an issue which requires discussion. Based on our experience, we hypothesized that this is an economically viable option. Material and Methods: In this retrospective study, we included 90 patients who underwent upper extremity surgeries in our institute solely under ultrasound (USG)-guided brachial plexus blocks in a year. The cost of the block was derived by adding the cost of the material and drugs used for the block. This cost was subtracted from the cost that otherwise would have been incurred for general anesthesia (GA) of similar duration. This cost difference or benefit per case was then used to calculate the duration in years required to recover the cost of the ultrasound machine. Statistics: Data were analyzed using SPSS 15.0. Analysis of variance was applied to compare mean benefits as per surgery, block, and duration. Ninety-five percent confidence interval for mean were calculated. Level of significance was taken as P = 0.05. Results: There were significant economic benefits using ultrasound guidance as compared to GA. Benefits differed significantly as per the type of surgery, type of block, and duration of the surgery. With the cost benefit that we have obtained, the cost of USG machine can be recovered in about 3 years. Conclusion: USG regional anesthesia is an economically viable concept. The cost benefit increases with the duration of a given surgery and increases with the number of blocks.

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