Survey of the national drug shortage effect on anesthesia and patient safety: A patient perspective

Ivan Kai Hsiang Hsia, Franklin Dexter, Ilana Logvinov, Nikola Tankosic, Harish Ramakrishna, Sorin J. Brull

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: There are few data on patients' desire to be informed of drug shortages before elective surgery. We surveyed patients who had previously undergone laparoscopic cholecystectomy for their opinions. METHODS: Nine hundred forty-nine Mayo Clinic patients were invited to participate in the survey. The postal survey posed a hypothetical surgical scenario and requested answers regarding the desire to be informed and to postpone scheduled surgery because of neostigmine shortage. Comparison was made with Canadian patients from a hospital in Ontario. RESULTS: Most of the 256 respondents wanted "to be told by the anesthesia doctor about the neostigmine shortage" if there were "slight differences" in side effects between the drug combinations (P < 0.0001). The percentage of patients wanting to know was 76.2% (95% confidence interval, 70.5%-81.3%). Secondary analyses tested the validity and reliability of the survey. With each increase in the differences in substituted drug's side effects, there was a progressive increase in the patients' desire for information (P < 0.0001; 73.2%, 76.2%, and 95.7% of 246, 256, and 253 respondents, respectively) and preference for delaying surgery (P< 0.0001; 33.6%, 39.4%, and 80.9% of 238, 246, and 241 respondents, respectively). There was no association with respondents' sex (P = 0.19), age (P = 0.76), educational level (P = 0.39), or country (United States versus Canada [n = 58]; P = 0.87). CONCLUSIONS: The majority (>50%) of surveyed patients want to be informed of drug shortages that might affect their care.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)502-506
Number of pages5
JournalAnesthesia and analgesia
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 25 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine


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