Patient safety initiative to optimize cognitive recovery and perioperative experience for adults 65 years and older undergoing surgery
What is the Perioperative Brain Health Initiative?
With more than 46 million Americans over the age of 65, postoperative delirium is a major public health issue in this vulnerable population.
History of the ASA Initiative
In 2015, then ASA President Daniel J. Cole, M.D., proposed a new patient safety initiative — the Perioperative Brain Health Initiative — to engage a multidisciplinary group to work with providers, payers and the public to create a low-barrier access program to minimize the impact of pre-existing cognitive deficits, and optimize the cognitive recovery and perioperative experience for adults 65 years and older undergoing surgery.
Facts, Vision & Mission, and Tools
Brain Health Facts
Postoperative delirium and delayed cognitive recovery are complications of significance to the elderly surgical population.
The incidence of postoperative delirium ranges from 5 to 15 percent. However, with certain high-risk groups such as patients with hip fracture, the range can be between 16 to 62 percent.
Immediately after surgery, the incidence of delayed cognitive recovery is high with recovery over a period of months.
Postoperative delirium is associated with significant postoperative complications.
All Physician Anesthesiologists implement current guidelines and scientific advances to protect and preserve the brain function of every patient undergoing a surgical procedure or intervention.
We promote routine preoperative screening for specific risk factors for perioperative neurocognitive disorders (e.g., delirium, postoperative cognitive decline)
We promote evidence-based perioperative strategies to prevent, identify, and treat perioperative neurocognitive disorders
We provide education about perioperative neurocognitive disorders for patients and providers
Tools for Providers
Visit the provider page for more information, tools, and resources.
In 2015, the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) held the Brain Health Summit on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. The summit brought together medical experts, government agencies and other interested nonprofit groups to discuss delayed cognitive recovery and postoperative delirium in elderly patients after surgery and anesthesia.
The Brain Health Summit:
Explored the assessment and identification of at-risk patients.
Evaluated the need for educational materials for patients and their health care providers to increase patient safety.
Promoted advocacy efforts to fund research regarding these complications.
Content created by members of the Perioperative Brain Health Initiative.