3rd Dec 2012

NICE recommends depth of anaesthesia monitors

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The RCoA has welcomed the recent guidance from NICE that depth of anaesthesia (DOA) monitors should be considered in certain situations. DOA monitors have been available for some time and the NICE guidance may not substantially change clinical practice as DOA monitoring is already considered a useful tool in many clinical anaesthetic scenarios.

The College notes that considerably more research is required before a recommendation can be made to adopt this form of monitoring more routinely. Many uncertainties surround the interpretation and application of monitor outputs, and the College would like to see grant-giving bodies make the support of programs of research in this field a priority.

The College - in partnership with the The Association of Anaesthetists of Great Britain and Ireland - is currently undertaking a major national audit of awareness during general anaesthesia (including a review of clinical practice) across all NHS hospitals in the UK and Republic of Ireland. The results of the 5th National Audit Project on Awareness (NAP5) will be available by early 2014 and the College fully expects them to inform a debate upon the early review of the NICE guidance

The guidance for depth of anaesthesia monitors is available on the NICE website at

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