Elderly Can Take Anesthetics


There has been concern over the years about the increase of delirious side effects from taking anesthetics amongst seniors.  At the 2011 Annual Meeting for the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA), in Chicago, this was one of the findings presented.  The study looked at elderly patients who had to get general anesthesia with isoflurane and compared them with those getting Total Intravenous Anesthesia (TIVA) and found that there was only an impact on delirium if the patient anyway had issues beforehand. 

Dr. Terri G. Monk, of Duke University Health System, said it’s only “preoperative cognitive status,” that can predict “postoperative delirium.”  He added that the study should be a good stop in “reassur[ing] elderly patients that the type of general anesthesia does not affect early cognitive outcomes after surgery and that they should not avoid necessary surgery or general anesthesia if it is required.”