Awake Sedation May Shorten Hospital Stay

COLUMBUS, Ohio, June 21 (UPI) — U.S. researchers suggest awake sedation — anesthetization followed by restoration to consciousness — could reduce brain tumor surgery recovery time.

Researchers at Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center in Columbus studied 39 patients treated for glioma — a type of brain tumor. Twenty patients were initially anesthetized but restored to consciousness during surgery on the brain, while the remaining 19 were treated using more traditional general anesthesia.


The patients receiving awake sedation had shorter hospital stays after leaving intensive care — 3.5 days — vs. patients receiving general anesthesia, at 4.6 days.

Shorter hospital stays led to an average 36 percent less direct costs after intensive care for the awake sedation cases.

“This finding needs to be validated with a randomized prospective clinical trial,” study leader Dr. E. Antonio Chiocca says in a statement. “Changing our current way of delivering anesthesia for these patients could allow them to leave the hospital sooner and save resources.”

Chiocca says awake sedation has been used on patients with tumors near the brain’s speech/sensorimotor centers since the 1950s, with some studies indicating more complications than general anesthesia and others showing the opposite.

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