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NICE issues guidance on depth of anaesthesia monitors (E-entropy, BIS and Nacrotrend)

Published: 21 January 2013
Monitoring depth of anaesthesia

The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) has issued guidance to the health service on the use of E-entropy, Bispectral Index and Nacrotrend as options for monitoring patient’s response to anaesthetic drugs based on reports produced by SHTAC.

NICE has issued guidance to the health service in England and Wales recommending the use of three devices (E-entropy, Bispectral Index and Nacrotrend) as options for monitoring the patient's response to general anaesthetic drugs during surgery, in combination with standard clinical monitoring.  

During general anaesthesia it is important to monitor the patient to ensure the level of anaesthesia given does not put them at risk of intraoperative awareness, or of anaesthetic-related morbidity. The monitoring devices measure electrical brain activity to provide anaesthetists with a measure of the level of unconsciousness. They can use this in combination with observation of the patient's clinical signs (e.g. blood pressure, heart rate) to adjust the anaesthetic dose as necessary.

NICE's guidance is based on a report prepared by SHTAC for the Diagnostic Assessment Programme which reviewed the clinical-effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of the devices.

For details of SHTAC's other research visit the Research page.

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