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Providing Safe Anesthesia for Seniors

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Providing Safe Anesthesia for Seniors

Anesthesia has taken great strides in recent decades, becoming safer for a wider variety of patients, including people over the age of 65. Proper care and professional anesthesia services are needed to ensure safety for older patients put under general anesthesia for surgery. Seniors are a fast-growing demographic in our country. Between 2012 and 2050, the population of people aged 65 and over is expected to double as the large Baby Boom generation enters its twilight years. By 2050,…

Anesthesia has taken great strides in recent decades, becoming safer for a wider variety of patients, including people over the age of 65. Proper care and professional anesthesia services are needed to ensure safety for older patients put under general anesthesia for surgery.
Seniors are a fast-growing demographic in our country. Between 2012 and 2050, the population of people aged 65 and over is expected to double as the large Baby Boom generation enters its twilight years. By 2050, 83.7 million people – or more than 20 percent of the U.S. population – will be over the age of 65, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
Older people have greater needs for medical care, and the increase in their numbers is helping drive growing demand for medical services, including anesthesia. While anesthesia is remarkably safe, like any other medical procedure it poses some risks. Older patients are more sensitive to the drugs used in anesthesia.
Less medication is typically required to anesthetize an older patient, and the affect of the drugs used is likely to last longer than with a younger patient. Doctors administering anesthesia to older patients need to take care to use the right amount of anesthesia drugs and provide proper perioperative care to avoid functional decline after a procedure.
Tips for Seniors Undergoing Anesthesia
Seniors undergoing anesthesia, or their caregivers, can reduce the risks posed by the procedure by taking these steps:
  • Ask that an anesthesiologist experienced in providing care to older patients take charge of the patient’s anesthesia care.
  • Request that, prior to surgery, the physicians conduct a cognitive test. The physician can use the results of the pre-surgery test to compare cognitive function after the procedure.
  • Caregivers or family members of the patient should keep a careful watch on the patient’s physical and mental activity following the surgery. People who know the patient are more likely to pick up on subtle changes in behavior or agility that may indicate a problem. Should any suspected problems arise, they should be reported to a doctor.
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Why Use Anesthesia Service Providers
Many doctor’s offices are providing services requiring anesthesia, as advances in technology have made surgical care at ambulatory surgical centers and clinics safer and more convenient for doctors and patients alike. Physicians providing surgical care requiring anesthesia to older patients should contract with reliable anesthesia services to ensure that their patients get the best possible care.
Professional anesthesia doctors and nurses have the skills and know-how to safely administer anesthesia to older patients, and the experience needed to monitor them after the procedure for possible problems.
Strategy Anesthesia partners with a variety of medical practices to provide reliable, clinically competent anesthesiologists and certified registered nurse anesthetists. By working with Strategy Anesthesia, practices can offer a broader range of procedures in-house, allowing them to provide more personalized care directly to their patients. Based in California, Strategy Anesthesia also has offices in Dallas, Texas; Cleveland, Ohio; and Montgomery Village, Maryland. To learn more, call (888) 398-6234.