Anaesthetics

QVH has 18 consultant anaesthetists, five associate and trust grade specialists and eight senior anaesthetic trainees with responsibilities to patients before, during and after surgery. The team provide pre-operative assessment, anaesthesia, pain and critical care services in the Trust.

The department has pioneered and developed special expertise in dealing with patients with abnormal airways due to facial deformity, techniques to lower blood pressure and reduce bleeding during delicate surgery, and the use of ultrasound for the placement of regional local anaesthetics for the upper limb.

QVH is a specialist centre for hand trauma and elective surgery on the hand and upper limb. A large proportion of this surgery is carried out under regional anaesthesia alone, avoiding the need for general anaesthetic, or in addition to sedation or general anaesthesia, providing excellent post-operative pain relief for these procedures.

Patient information videos

Awake fibre-optic intubation (AFOI) for maxillofacial surgery
Axillary nerve block for hand/arm surgery

Clinical effectiveness

The anaesthetic recovery room exists to ensure patients are fit to discharge to the ward following surgery. We monitor all interventions that are made in recovery, including medical review, intravenous analgesia, unexpected discharge to critical care and all complications such as hypothermia or airway difficulties.

2017/18 statistics

The team performed 1,200 upper limb regional anaesthetic blocks for upper limb surgery. An audit in October 2017, which involved contacting patients 24-48 hours following their upper limb operation under a regional anaesthetic alone, found 96% were satisfied with the anaesthetic technique.

Full details of our patient safety, patient experience and clinical effectiveness measures are published in our annual Quality Report. Find the latest version here.