Intraoperative Resource Utilization in Anesthesia for Liver Transplantation in the United States: A Survey

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Among the intraoperative resources expended for liver transplantation, laboratory tests, personnel, high-flow infusion devices, high-tech monitoring equipment, and veno-venous bypass vary from institution to institution. Although of obvious interest to the anesthesia liver transplantation community and others, little is known regarding current utilization of these resources on a national level. To determine the resource utilization among liver transplantation centers in the United States, we conducted a national survey between April and July 2002. Results were stratified according to pediatric versus adult recipient populations and transplantation case volume. Of 99 centers that received the survey by mail, 66 (66.6%) responded. Pediatric liver transplantation programs were distinctly different in personnel, equipment, monitoring, and veno-venous bypass utilization when compared with adult or mixed-age programs. Among laboratory studies, statistically significant trends emerged for fewer intraoperative determinations of the activated clotting time, magnesium, and phosphate with increasing transplantation volume. The results describe national practice patterns and may be useful for programs to compare their approaches and develop clinical pathways. There is wide variation of resource use between centers. The survey results do not consistently correlate with the few recommendations found in the current literature.

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