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LIGHER SEDATION

ANCHOR LEAD:  USING LIGHTER SEDATION IN ELDERLY PATIENTS HAS BENEFITS, ELIZABETH TRACEY REPORTS

An alarming number of elderly people who undergo surgery under deep anesthesia subsequently develop delirium, which may then result in prolonged hospitalization, subsequent nursing home placement or death.  Now a Johns Hopkins study led by Frederick Seiber has shown that anesthesia can be lightened in older people.

SEIBER: So in this study what we did was we had a group of elderly patients who were all undergoing spinal anesthesia, and we randomized to get either light or deep sedation, and then we followed them to see who got delirious and who didn’t, and what we found was that just by lightening the amount of sedation that the elderly patient receives while under spinal anesthesia, we were able to decrease the incidence of delirium by over fifty percent.     :30

Seiber says lighter anesthesia is just as effective at providing pain relief.  At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.

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