RCoA’s first infographic for patients provides clear advice on events and risks of anaesthesia

Published: 13/05/2019

The Royal College of Anaesthetists has published its first infographic for patients – Common events and risks in anaesthesia.

Illustrating risk with an infographic is a helpful way for patients of all reading abilities to understand complex information. The risks associated with anaesthesia are generally poorly understood by many patients – equating this to occurrence in a group of people as we have done with the risk scale in this resource can be very helpful.

Discussion of the common events and risks associated with an anaesthetic is an essential element of informed consent. The infographic is a summary of the common events and risks that healthy adult patients of normal weight face when having a general anaesthetic for routine surgery. Patients can read the infographic before they meet their anaesthetist in order to be better informed when they discuss their anaesthetic requirements and their individual risks.

Hilary Swales, Chair of the Patient Information Group and RCoA Lead for Patient Information said: “Each patient may have significant additional risks depending on their health and type of surgery - this resource can help open up discussions about specific risks and we are pleased that the specialty has welcomed it.”

The infographic has proven extremely popular across the College’s social media platforms and the College is pleased that it has been so well received by the specialty for being a useful and informative tool.

For further details on specific risks, patients can be signposted to the risk leaflets series on the patient information area of the College website.