Aim: The aim of this study was to evaluate the use and application of muscle relaxants and neuromuscular monitoring in Germany.
Methods: A total of 2,996 questionnaires were sent out to the heads of German anaesthesia departments and private anaesthesia practices. The questions covered frequency of muscle relaxants used,how they were used, and neuromuscular monitoring. Influences on the way muscle relaxants were used could be derived from the desire for specific properties of a muscle relaxant, the desire for different monitoring conditions and from the size of the institution. We correlated these features with application practice using logistic regression analyses.
Results: Of the 2,996 questionnaires 2,058 could be analysed (68.6%). Amongst those were 102 level one hospitals (5%) and 903 private practices (44%). The replies from 350 (17%) departments were based on surveyed data, 1,613 (78.5%) were based on estimations. The desire for certain properties of muscle relaxants correlated with the use in practice, as were the desire for a non-depolarizing replacement for succinylcholine, the size of the department and the frequency of use of neuromuscular monitoring. Over 50% of all German anaesthesia departments limited the use of muscle relaxants to three. The use of laryngeal masks reduced the use of muscle relaxants.
Conclusions: The survey regarding use of muscle relaxants in Germany could for the first time give an overview on the use of anaesthesia-specific substances in Germany. From the different frequencies of use and use modalities,conclusions could be drawn towards a standard of application for the year 2000. Changes in this standard would raise the need for further trend surveys. The methods of statistical analysis and survey evaluation can be used as a base for further surveys.