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Year : 2007  |  Volume : 51  |  Issue : 5  |  Page : 420

Public Awareness About Anaesthesia and Anaesthesiologist: A Survey

1 M.D., Assistant Professor, Deptt. of Anaesthesiology, R.N.T. Medical College, Udaipur(Raj.), India
2 M.D., Ex-P.G. Student, Department of Anaesthesiology, R.N.T. Medical College, Udaipur (Raj.), India
3 M.D., F.I.C.S., F.A.M.S., Sr. Professor and Head, Department of Anaesthesiology, R.N.T. Medical College, Udaipur (Raj.), India

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Though the role of anaesthesiologist is crucial, the public knowledge of anaesthetic practice is limited. It is thus important for us to think that why the importance of this speciality is not known and how to make people aware about the vital role played by an anaesthesiologist in medical set up. The present study was conducted in a tertiary care teaching hospital, on 150 adult surgical patients posted for elective surgery to assess patient's knowledge about the role of anaesthesiologist, their preoperative concerns related to anaesthesia, post operative complaints and level of satisfaction regarding anaesthesia services. A majority (92.67%) of patients felt that anaesthesia was necessary for surgery, only 42.67% knew that it was given by an anaesthesiologist. Only 27.33% of the patients knew that besides anaesthetizing, anaesthesiologists monitors & takes care of vital signs throughout surgery. Patients were not much aware of their role in ICU (7.33%), painless labour (12.67%) & pain clinic (4.67%). Only 15.33% patients had knowledge about anaesthesia risks given in consent form. Though people with higher literacy levels had greater knowledge about anaesthesia compared with the lower literacy group (P<0.001), even their mean scores fell in average range. The statistical association between past exposure to anaesthesia and knowledge about anaesthesia was not significant (P>0.1). Contribution of anaesthesiologists in patients knowledge was the least (1.33%). The number of patients having preoperative fears was much more (61.33%) than the actual number of patients having discomfort during surgery(16.67%). Large majority of patients were satisfied with the quality of anaesthesia services (99.33%), and showed willingness to know about their anaesthesiologist in case of any future surgery (70%). We concluded that there is a widespread misconception amongst the public about the role of anaesthesiologists inside and outside the operating room, however services provided were considered satisfactory. Therefore, sufficient time should be given to educate the patients about anaesthesia and the various role an anaesthesiologist plays. Meeting during the preanaesthetic examination should be used to fulfill this purpose.

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