An educational intervention to reduce the incidence of postoperative residual curarisation: a cluster randomised crossover trial in patients undergoing general anaesthesia

Óscar Díaz-Cambronero, Guido Mazzinari, Carlos L. Errando, Ignacio Garutti, Alfredo A. Gurumeta, Ana B. Serrano, Neus Esteve, Maria V. Montañes, Ary S. Neto, Markus W. Hollmann, Marcus J. Schultz, Maria P. Argente Navarro, for the Reducing the Incidence of Post Operative Residual Curarization Zero investigators

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Background: The incidence of postoperative residual curarisation remains unacceptably high. We assessed whether an educational intervention on perioperative neuromuscular block management can reduce it. Methods: In this multicentre, cluster randomised crossover trial, centres were allocated to receive an educational intervention either in a first or a second period. The educational intervention consisted of a lecture about neuromuscular management key points, including quantitative neuromuscular monitoring and use of reversal agents. The lecture was streamed to allow repetition. Additionally, memory cards were distributed in each operating theatre. The primary outcome was postoperative residual curarisation in the PACU. Secondary outcomes were frequency of quantitative neuromuscular monitoring, use of reversal agents, and incidence of postoperative pulmonary complications during hospital stay. Measurements were performed before randomisation and after the first and the second period. The effect of the educational intervention was estimated using multivariable mixed effects logistic regression models. Results: We included 2314 subjects in 34 Spanish centres. Postoperative residual curarisation incidence was not affected by the educational intervention (odds ratio [OR] 0.90 [95% confidence interval {CI}: 0.51–1.58]; P=0.717 and 1.30 [0.73–2.30]; P=0.371] for first and second time-period interaction). The educational intervention increased the quantitative neuromuscular monitor usage (OR 2.04 [95% CI: 1.31–3.19]; P=0.002), the use of reversal agents was unchanged (OR 0.79 [95% CI: 0.50–1.26]; P=0.322), and the incidence of postoperative pulmonary complications decreased (OR 0.19 [95% CI: 0.10–0.35]; P<0.001). Conclusions: An educational intervention on perioperative neuromuscular block management did not reduce the incidence of postoperative residual curarisation nor increase reversal, despite increased quantitative neuromuscular monitoring. Sugammadex reversal was associated with reduced postoperative residual curarisation. The educational intervention was associated with a decrease in postoperative pulmonary complications. Clinical trial registration: NCT03128151.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)482-490
Number of pages9
JournalBritish Journal of Anaesthesia
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2023


  • acetylcholinesterase inhibitor
  • neuromuscular block
  • neuromuscular monitoring
  • postoperative residual curarisation
  • sugammadex

Cite this