Journal Watch

I hope you find that this Journal Watch is useful and will direct your journal reading when there are many to choose from and we all seem to be becoming more stretched for time.

SPANZA thanks all contributing writers from each centre and Catherine Olweny for taking on the role of ‘executive editor’ in 2011 to get the project up and running, and to Robyn Maina for taking over in 2019.


International Journal Watch

SPANZA Journal Watch was recognised as a great initiative, and APAGBI thought that it would be a great thing for them to adopt.  SPANZA is now working with APAGBI to create the ‘International Journal Watch’.

CLICK HERE to go to the APAGBI Journal Watch site.

Journal Watch Search

253 Results Found

What airway management information do anaesthetic charts prompt for? An audit of charts from 132 hospitals across Australia and New Zealand

This article presents the results of an audit of blank anaesthetic charts from 132 hospitals accredited for training by ANZCA. The charts were evaluated for 17 data fields describing tracheal intubation, supraglottic airway use and bag-mask ventilation, with the intent of assessing how useful the charts might be in documenting which airway techniques worked, and which ones did not. The median number of prompts, of the 17 fields examined, was 7 (range 0 – 15).

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Postanesthesia complications in pediatric patients with previous SARS-CoV-2 infection: A cohort study

Report of a single centre, retrospective, case–control study comparing complications after anaesthesia within 90 days of a known positive PCR, as compared to matched controls. The study period was between January 3–October 7, 2020. The complications looked for were at the serious end of the scale (unexplained escalation in care <48hrs post anaesthesia, cardiac, respiratory, thrombotic, and haemorrhagic events within 30 days), in addition to 30- day mortality and hospital length of stay. The cohort included 114 patients who were PCR positive, and 227 controls matched to age and type of surgery. The risk of postoperative complications was not increased in patients who had a positive PCR test more that 7 days prior to anaesthesia compared to matched controls.

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Preoperative COVID-19 testing at pediatric institutions – Current practice

Results of a survey sent to US paediatric institutions to explore the pre-operative testing protocols in use at the time (Feb 2022, repeated June 2022). The results from 27/62 (44%) responding institutions were collated. The major change was a move away from PCR testing only (69% –> 52%) and towards protocols involving both PCR and RAT (27% –> 44%).

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The COVID-19 pandemic in 2023: far from over

Presents a reasonably current (Jan 2023) perspective from China, detailing the Dec 2022-Jan 2023 rise in COVID infections. Some of the reasons are outline (policy changes dropping most of the previous restrictions, inadequate vaccination rates in vulnerable groups including the elderly (prompting efforts to roll out more vaccines), and anticipated mass internal movement of people for Chinese New Year. The effects on a struggling health system are obvious, but numbers of deaths are hard to come by. The variants common in China now are the same as those circulating in Europe and beyond, in populations having higher levels of immunity. New variants with even higher potential for spread are circulating in the US, although the rates of severe disease so far do not seem to be increasing.

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Climate change threatens our health and survival within decades

This editorial adds little to the climate change discussion that any member of the general public has not already had a chance to consider. There is little doubt most readers can find a more productive use of their time, particularly if they are concerned about the need for climate action.


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Global investments to optimise the health and wellbeing of children with disabilities: a call to action

It is likely that paediatric anaesthetists are already on board with the message that more effort is required to address the needs of children with disabilities across the global health space and this is well written. It may lead to a momentary feeling of ‘yes, that is an excellent way of arguing for this important thing’ but it is unlikely to result in a change in what the reader does – unless the reader is part of the World Bank Group who are at the core of the appeal for action.

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Prevalence and Outcomes of Opioid Use Disorder in Pediatric Surgical Patients: A Retrospective Cohort Study.

This was a retrospective matched cohort study examining the prevalence of opioid use disorder (OUD) in 10 to 18-year-olds and the association with post-operative outcomes over a 15-year period from 2004-2019. The study extracted data from the ‘pediatric health information system’ which is an administrative hospital database used in over 50 not-for-profit, US tertiary-care paediatric hospitals. Patients were identified as having opioid use disorder using a previously identified algorithm based on ICD-9 and ICD-10 coding.

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Health Care Burden Associated With Adolescent Prolonged Opioid Use After Surgery

This was a retrospective cohort study of opioid-naïve patients aged 12-21 undergoing surgery. The study used insurance claim data to examine the healthcare usage of the patients and the association with prolonged opioid use after surgery (POUS). POUS was defined as one or more opioid prescriptions dispensed between 91 and 180 days after the incident surgical procedure and the association with health care utilisation up to 730 days after the surgical encounter. The study found that the patients in the POUS group had greater health care utilisation including LOS, inpatient, outpatient and emergency department visits. This was associated with a mean increase in cost of US$4604.

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Acute pain management in the neonate

This is an educational article discussing the management of mainly post-surgical pain in neonates from a group of authors based at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital in the UK. It has sections on physiology, pain assessment, non-pharmacological approaches, pharmacological approaches, and regional anaesthesia. It reads more as a report of their local practice than a review. It is useful as it provides a framework for assessment and management including dosages used for nurse-controlled analgesia programs and various regional blocks, which are not always easily accessible.

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