A survey of anaesthetic drug availability: Impact on practice of anaesthesia and patient care in Harare
Nyakatawa, Gerald T.
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Objectives: To investigate how common anaesthetic drug shortages are, how they affect the practice of anaesthesia and patient care in Harare. Methodology: A multicentre prospective observational study of anaesthetic drug availability was carried out involving a self-administered questionnaire completed by anaesthetists working in 3 Public hospitals and 6 Private hospitals in Harare daily over the period; 1 August 2014 to 31 October 2014. A total of 422 completed questionnaires were collected out of 619 that had been distributed. In the last week of October 2014, a once off survey of the hospitals’ chief pharmacists was done using a different questionnaire. Results: The incidence of reporting at least an anaesthetic drug shortage by anaesthetists was 79.86% and 100% for pharmacist. There is a statistically significant difference in the availability of drugs between private and public hospitals, p < 0.001. Private hospitals tend to have less drug shortages compared to public hospitals. Anaesthetic drug shortages are associated with a high frequency of negative adverse effects on the practice of anaesthesia and patient care. Conclusion: Anaesthetic drug shortages are common in Harare and they are associated with high incidences of adverse effects on anaesthesia practice and patient care.