Introduction: The use of total intravenous anaesthesia (TIVA) has been well established as an anaesthetic technique over the last few decades. Significant variation in practice exists however, and volatile agents are still commonly used. This study aims to determine the motivations and barriers for using TIVA over the use of volatile agents by analysing the opinion of several international anaesthetists with specific expertise or interests. Methods and participants: The Delphi method was used to gain the opinions of expert panellists with a range of anaesthetic subspecialty expertise. Twenty-nine panellists were invited to complete three survey rounds containing statements regarding the use of TIVA. Anonymised data were captured through the software REDCap and analysed for consensus and prioritisation across statements. Starting with 12 statements, strong consensus was defined as ≥75% agreement. Stability was assessed between rounds. Results: Strong consensus was achieved for four statements regarding considerations for the use of TIVA. These statements addressed whether TIVA is useful in paediatric anaesthesia, the importance of TIVA in reducing the incidence of postoperative nausea and vomiting, its positive impact on the environment and effect on patient physiology, such as airway and haemodynamic control. Conclusions: Using the Delphi method, this international consensus showed that cost, lack of familiarity or training and the risk of delayed emergence are not considered obstacles to TIVA use. It appears, instead, that the primary motivations for its adoption are the impact of TIVA on patient experience, especially in paediatrics, and the benefit to the overall procedure outcome. The effect of TIVA on postoperative nausea and vomiting and patient physiology, as well as improving its availability in paediatrics were considered as priorities. We also identified areas where the debate remains open, generating new research questions on geographical variation and the potential impact of local availability of monitoring equipment.
- total intravenous anaesthesia
- volatile anaesthesia
- anaesthetic techniques
- peri-operative anaesthesia