Authors: P. H. M. Sadleir et al
Anesthesia November 2017
Intra‐operative acute hypersensitivity reactions require a decision to be made regarding whether to proceed with or abandon the planned surgical procedure once the patient has stabilised. Using retrospective case controls, we examined all cases (223) of proven acute hypersensitivity reactions from 2005 to 2014 in Western Australia, in which the syndrome was recognised by the treating clinician before or during surgery, to determine whether recovery outcomes were adversely affected by proceeding with the planned procedure. Surgery proceeded in 104 patients (47%) and was abandoned in 119 (53%). The severity of acute hypersensitivity reactions was Société Française d’Anesthésie et de Réanimation grade 1 or 2 in 56 patients (25%), grade 3 in 128 (56%) and grade 4 in 39 (17%). Abandoning surgery was more common in patients with increasing severity of hypersensitivity. The rate of major hypersensitivity‐related complications for all patients was zero for grade 1 and 2 reactions, 4.7% for grade 3 and 12.8% for grade 4. There were no deaths. Patients in whom surgery was completed were not observed to have a higher frequency of major hypersensitivity‐related complications when compared with cases of similar severity in whom surgery was abandoned. For patients admitted to the intensive care unit, proceeding with surgery was not associated with an increased duration of mechanical ventilation of the lungs. Our results suggest that, once initial resuscitation has been achieved and if resuscitative efforts can be re‐instituted if required, continuing with planned surgery in grade 1, 2 and 3 immediate hypersensitivity was not associated with poorer outcomes. After grade 3 reactions, there was a significant incidence of complications attributable to acute hypersensitivity regardless of whether surgery proceeded or was abandoned. Surgery was frequently abandoned in grade 4 immediate hypersensitivity and was associated with a high rate of complications.