Basics Of Anesthesia, The Unique Challenge Of The Elderly Patient, Preoperative Assessment, Intraoperative ManagementConclusion
"My diseases are an asthma and a dropsy and, what is less curable, seventy-five."
Over 40 percent of all surgical procedures in the United States are performed on patients over age sixty-five, a remarkable statistic given that those over sixty-five comprise only 13 percent of the U.S. population. Elderly patients are more likely than their younger counterparts to suffer serious medical complications such as a heart attack, pneumonia, or kidney failure during or after an operation, further compounding the impact that caring for elderly patients has on the medical system.
The anesthetic care of the elderly patient is complex and demanding because of the effects of aging on organ function, plus the greater likelihood of chronic disease with increased age. Greater attention must be afforded such patients, beginning with the evaluation and optimization of the patient's medical status. The anesthetic requires close attention to detail, and, in selected patients, special techniques may be useful in lowering the risk of complications.
G. ALEC ROOKE
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