Patients more likely to go home if anesthesiologist does sedation: Study

A study found patients who receive sedation from an anesthesiologist, instead of a physician who is not a trained anesthesiologist, are nearly 70% more likely to be discharged home than to a long-term care facility.

The study, presented at the Anesthesiology 2023 annual meeting, analyzed data from 9,682 patients who had sedation in an interventional radiology suite, according to an Oct. 14 news release from the American Society of Anesthesiologists. Of the patients analyzed, 18.93% were discharged from the hospital to a long-term care facility due to complications. Of those patients discharged to facilities, 87% had their sedation administered or directed by a physician who was not an anesthesiologist.

When anesthesiologists administered or directed sedation, it tended to be for higher-risk patients. Despite high risks, those patients were nearly 70% more likely to be discharged home instead of into a long-term facility.

"We focused on patients undergoing interventional radiology procedures as they often have health issues such as heart disease or diabetes and some of the procedures are high risk," Matthias Eikermann, MD, PhD, senior author of the study and chair of the department of anesthesiology at Montefiore Medical Center in New York City, said in the release. "We found anesthesiologists add value to patients undergoing interventional radiology procedures. That's especially true for complex neurovascular procedures such as angiograms for the treatment of aneurysms or the creation of an arteriovenous fistula, a connection between an artery and a vein, for people on dialysis and those that typically take longer than an hour."

The study was the first to compare hospital discharge outcomes for patients who received sedation by anesthesiologists or other physicians such as radiologists or cardiologists, according to the release.

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