Author(s): Sorenson RM, Pace NL
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Abstract Fracture of the hip typically occurs in older women. These patients usually have serious accompanying chronic illnesses. There is a difference of opinion as to the choice of regional versus general anesthesia for surgery in these patients. This meta-analysis compared survival of patients with traumatic femoral neck fractures undergoing operative repair during regional or general anesthesia. The data sources were articles comparing regional and general anesthesia from peer reviewed journals. Thirteen randomized controlled trials were found. Besides 1-month mortality, variables used were estimated operative blood loss and the incidence of deep venous thrombosis. For dichotomous outcomes, two effect measures were calculated: the difference in probabilities and the odds ratio. For blood loss, a continuous variable, the effect measure was the mean difference in blood loss. A random-effects Bayesian meta-analysis was used to combine study data, estimate parameters and create 95\% confidence intervals. Only the incidence of deep venous thrombosis was clearly greater for patients receiving general anesthesia, being 31 percentage points higher than for patients receiving regional anesthesia. By the odds ratio, deep venous thrombosis was almost four times more likely following general anesthesia. There was no difference in estimated operative blood loss. By probability difference, mortality was a non-significant 2.7 percentage points less following regional anesthesia. By odds ratio effect measure, death was 1.5 times more likely following general anesthesia, but the lower bound of the 95\% confidence interval was close to 1. Meta-analysis does not allow a conclusion that important differences in mortality exist between regional and general anesthesia for traumatic hip fracture surgery.
This article was published in Anesthesiology
and referenced in Journal of Anesthesia & Clinical Research