ANCHOR LEAD: WHEN ELDERLY PATIENTS HELP MAKE THEIR OWN ANESTHESIA CHOICES, THEY CHOOSE LIGHT. ELIZABETH TRACEY REPORTS
Older people who have deep anesthesia for surgery develop subsequent delirium at an alarming rate. Now a Johns Hopkins study led by Frederick Seiber has shown that lighter sedation works just fine and may avoid such an outcome, and is perfectly acceptable to patients.
SEIBER: What we found is that when you talk to elderly patients when they’re going into surgery, their biggest fear is not dying. Their biggest fear is will I return to my same level of functioning after my surgery as I had previous to my surgery. What we found regardless of the level of education, when we carefully talked to patients and explained what we were trying to do they were very willing to undergo the surgery under lighter sedation. :29
Sieber says he assures patients they will feel no pain, and that now, the biggest obstacle to overcome may be getting the medical establishment to employ lighter anesthesia. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey