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Retrospective analysis of quality improvement when using liposome bupivacaine for postoperative pain control

Authors King N, Quiko A, Slotto J, Connolly N, Hackworth R, Heil J

Received 11 December 2015

Accepted for publication 2 February 2016

Published 21 April 2016 Volume 2016:9 Pages 233—240


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Kerui Gong

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Michael Schatman

Nicole M King, Albin S Quiko, James G Slotto, Nicholas C Connolly, Robert J Hackworth, Justin W Heil

Department of Anesthesiology, Naval Medical Center San Diego, San Diego, CA, USA

Background/objective: Liposome bupivacaine, a prolonged-release bupivacaine formulation, recently became available at the Naval Medical Center San Diego (NMCSD); before availability, postsurgical pain for large thoracic/abdominal procedures was primarily managed with opioids with/without continuous thoracic epidural (CTE) anesthesia. This retrospective chart review was part of a clinical quality initiative to determine whether postsurgical outcomes improved after liposome bupivacaine became available.
Methods: Data from patients who underwent laparotomy, sternotomy, or thoracotomy at NMCSD from May 2013 to May 2014 (after liposome bupivacaine treatment became available) were compared with data from patients who underwent these same procedures from December 2011 to May 2012 (before liposome bupivacaine treatment became available). Collected data included demographics, postoperative pain control methods, opioid consumption, perioperative pain scores, and lengths of intensive care unit and overall hospital stays.
Results: Data from 182 patients were collected: 88 pre-liposome bupivacaine (laparotomy, n=52; sternotomy, n=26; and thoracotomy, n=10) and 94 post-liposome bupivacaine (laparotomy, n=49; sternotomy, n=31; and thoracotomy, n=14) records. Mean hospital stay was 7.0 vs 5.8 days (P=0.009) in the pre- and post-liposome bupivacaine groups, respectively, and mean highest reported postoperative pain score was 7.1 vs 6.2 (P=0.007), respectively. No other significant between-group differences were observed for the overall population. In the laparotomy subgroup, there was a reduction in the proportion of patients who received CTE anesthesia post-liposome bupivacaine (22% [11/49] vs 35% [18/52] pre-liposome bupivacaine).
Conclusion: Surgeons and anesthesiologists have changed the way they manage postoperative pain since the time point that liposome bupivacaine was introduced at NMCSD. Our findings suggest that utilization of liposome bupivacaine may be a useful alternative to epidural anesthesia.

Keywords: laparotomy, thoracotomy, sternotomy, anesthesia, local

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