Anesthesiologists only meeting minimum informed consent criteria, study says

Pediatric anesthesiologists are meeting only the minimum criteria for informed consent, according to a study presented at the 2017 Society for Pediatric Anesthesia/American Academy of Pediatrics Section on Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine annual meeting, Anesthesiology News reports.

Seattle Children's Assistant Professor of Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine Katherine Gentry, MD, and colleagues conducted a prospective, cross-sectional study. Researchers analyzed 97 conversations between the parents of 1-month-old to 6-year-old surgical patients and their pediatric anesthesiologists. Researchers then asked parents to fill out a survey about their experience.

Here's what you should know.

1. Of seven informed consent elements, the discussions included a median of five elements.
The seven elements were: plan description, risk discussion, alternative descriptions, benefit discussion, uncertainty discussion and comprehension and solicitation of a decision.

2. Researchers found 70 percent of pediatric anesthesiologists included plan description, risk description and benefit description in their discussions.

3. Researchers conducted a bivariate analysis showing that parents often recalled the three aforementioned elements. However, there was no association between the three elements and perceived understanding.

Dr. Gentry said the results of the study were more positive than expected, but warned the results should be cautiously interpreted because of the study's limitations.

The meeting was held March 3 through March 6 in Austin, Texas.

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