Drug shortages in Canadian anesthesia: a national survey

Canadian Journal of Anaesthesia = Journal Canadien D'anesthésie
Richard HallCanadian Perioperative Anesthesia Clinical Trials Group


Canadian physicians are faced with an increasing frequency of drug shortages. We hypothesized that drug shortages have a clinical impact on anesthesia care in Canada. We conducted a self-administered survey of anesthesiologists in Canada using the membership list of the Canadian Anesthesiologists' Society. For survey development, we identified key domains, including types of drug shortages, impact on the ability of anesthesia practitioners to provide general anesthesia care, and impact on patient outcomes. We undertook assessments of face validity, clinical sensibility, and content validity. Respondents were surveyed from January-April 2012. Completed valid questionnaires were submitted by 1,187 respondents (61.4%), and 779 (65.7%) of respondents described a shortage of one or more anesthesia or critical care drugs. Changes in anesthesia practice resulting from drug shortages were common; 586 (49%) respondents thought they had given an inferior anesthetic, and 361 (30%) reported administering medications with which they were unfamiliar. Respondents also reported that drug shortages were, at times, responsible for changes in the conduct of patient care, with 28 (2.4%) noting cancellation or postponement of surgery and 92 (7.8%) ...Continue Reading


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Anesthesia Procedures
General Anesthesia [PE]
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Specialty Type - Critical Care
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