Research Round-Up: Anesthesia and the Geriatric Population

In this pre-annual meeting research round-up, Dr. Akhtar highlights studies that underscore “the opportunity for us to reduce the amount of anesthetic we use in elderly patients” and two studies in the works that may one day help make anesthetic management more “brain centric.”

May 10, 2018

by Sandra Gordon for ASA

“If we go by the recommendations, most of our elderly patients get more anesthetic than they require,” says Shamsudden Akhtar, M.D., associate professor in the department of anesthesiology and pharmacology at the Yale School of Medicine, who will moderate the discussion: “Practical Management of High-Risk Geriatric Patient: Brain, Heart-Lung and Kidneys” at the ANESTHESIOLOGY® 2018 annual meeting in October. To reduce the amount of anesthetic in elderly patients and, consequently, the risk of postoperative delirium, awareness is key.

Less Can Be More

Brain Monitoring and Delirium Prevention

Can monitoring brain activity with EEG or BIS monitors during surgery in older patients impact the incidence of postsurgical delirium? “Studies are currently underway that will be instructive for us,” Dr. Akhtar says.

Here are two to put on your radar:

“We’re moving into an area, especially when we’re dealing with so many elderly patients — patients 80 years and older with many comorbidities—that we have to pay greater attention to how much anesthetic we give them,” Dr. Akhtar says. To reduce the risk of postoperative delirium, the results of these and other studies will contribute to the body of evidence weighing in on how much anesthetic is required to maintain blood pressure or the cardiovascular system versus how much is required for the brain during surgery for elderly patients.

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