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M.M. Kurrek, S. Barnett, V. Minville

J Frailty Aging 2014;3(4):230-233

The number of elderly patients undergoing anesthesia is increasing. At the same time aging is associated with decreased functional reserve of all major organ systems and an increase in comorbid conditions, requiring a comprehensive perioperative evaluation to minimize morbidity and mortality. The preoperative assessment should focus on the risk/benefit analysis vis-à-vis the proposed intervention, allowing the practitioner to adapt surgical and anesthetic care, as well optimize health and functional status. In addition to the usual evaluation for cardiac and pulmonary risk, the preoperative assessment in the older patient should also address the risk of postoperative cognitive dysfunction and delirium. ‘Do-not-resuscitate’ orders must be clarified with the patients or substitute decision maker. Studies have not been able to clearly show the superiority of one anesthetic approach for the geriatric patient, although there are probably advantages to using regional anesthetic techniques. Overall the patient’s preoperative functional status along with the proposed intervention is the primary determinants of the patient’s long term functional outcome and wellbeing. The elderly patient may be at his most vulnerable during the postoperative phase, and a relatively high frequency of adverse events in the elderly, including respiratory insufficiency, myocardial and cerebrovascular ischemia, renal failure, infectious complications as well as delirium and postoperative cognitive dysfunction have been observed. Perioperative interventions should target modifiable risk factors and the avoidance of even minor complications with an ultimate goal of improving long-term outcome.

M.M. Kurrek ; S. Barnett ; V. Minville (2014): CONSIDERATIONS FOR THE PERIOPERATIVE CARE OF ELDERLY AND FRAIL PATIENTS. The Journal of Frailty and Aging (JFA). http://dx.doi.org/10.14283/jfa.2014.29

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