The use of regional anesthesia during hip fracture surgery reduces mortality and shortens hospital stays, according to a study published in JAMA.
Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania's Perelman's School of Medicine compared the 30-day mortality rates and lengths of hospitalizations of nearly 16,000 patients who received regional anesthesia to those of approximately 41,000 patients who received general anesthesia.
There was no difference in mortality rates between the groups, according to the study. However, patients who received regional blocks were able to leave the hospital approximately half a day sooner than patients on general anesthesia.
The study's authors used new statistical formulas that eliminated biases caused by regional patients tending to be older and sicker than those treated with inhalation agents, according to Mark Neuman, MD, MSC, the study's lead author, an assistant professor of anesthesia and critical care, and a senior fellow in the Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics at Perelman.
Dr. Neuman says the findings suggest an association between regional anesthesia and shorter lengths of stay, which could relate to a reduction in complications or more effective rehabilitation for the approximately 300,000 patients who suffer hip fractures each year.