More than 6 billion people live outside industrialized countries and have insufficient access to cardiac surgery. Given the recently confirmed high prevailing mortality for rheumatic heart disease in many of these countries together with increasing numbers of patients needing interventions for lifestyle diseases due to an accelerating epidemiological transition, a significant need for cardiac surgery could be assumed. Yet, need estimates were largely based on extrapolated screening studies while true service levels remained unknown. A multi-author effort representing 16 high-, middle-, and low-income countries was undertaken to narrow the need assessment for cardiac surgery including rheumatic and lifestyle cardiac diseases as well as congenital heart disease on the basis of existing data deduction. Actual levels of cardiac surgery were determined in each of these countries on the basis of questionnaires, national databases, or annual reports of national societies. Need estimates range from 200 operations per million in low-income countries that are nonendemic for rheumatic heart disease to >1,000 operations per million in high-income countries representing the end of the epidemiological transition. Actually provided levels of cardiac surgery range from 0.5 per million in the assessed low- and lower-middle income countries (average 107 ± 113 per million; representing a population of 1.6 billion) to 500 in the upper-middle-income countries (average 270 ± 163 per million representing a population of 1.9 billion). By combining need estimates with the assessment of de facto provided levels of cardiac surgery, it emerged that a significant degree of underdelivery of often lifesaving open heart surgery does not only prevail in low-income countries but is also disturbingly high in middle-income countries.
The role of intraoperative intravenous lidocaine infusion has been previously evaluated for pain relief, inflammatory response, and post-operative recovery, particularly in abdominal surgery. The present study is a randomized double-blinded trial in which we evaluated whether IV lidocaine infusion reduces isoflurane requirement, intraoperative remifentanil consumption and time to post-operative recovery in non-laparoscopic renal surgery. Sixty patients scheduled to undergo elective non-laparoscopic renal surgery under general anesthesia were enrolled to receive either systemic lidocaine infusion (group L: bolus 1.5 mg/kg followed by a continuous infusion at the rate of 2 mg/kg/hr until skin closure) or normal saline (0.9% NaCl solution) (Group C). The depth of anesthesia was monitored using the Bispectral Index Scale (BIS), which is based on measurement of the patient’s cerebral electrical activity. Primary outcome of the study was End-tidal of isoflurane concentration (Et-Iso) at BIS values of 40-60. Secondary outcomes include remifentanil consumption during the operation and time to extubation. Et-Iso was significantly lower in group L than in group C (0.63% ± 0.10% vs 0.92% ± 0.11%, p < 10-3). Mean remifentanil consumption of was significantly lower in group L than in group C (0.13 ± 0.04 µg/kg/min vs 0.18 ± 0.04 µg/kg/min, p < 10-3). Thus, IV lidocaine infusion permits a reduction of 31% in isoflurane concentration requirement and 27% in the intraoperative remifentanil need. In addition, recovery from anesthesia and extubation time was shorter in group L (5.8 ± 1.8 min vs 7.9 ± 2.0 min, p < 10-3). By reducing significantly isoflurane and remifentanil requirements during renal surgery, intravenous lidocaine could provide effective strategy to limit volatile agent and intraoperative opioids consumption especially in low and middle income countries.