ANCHOR LEAD: STUDYING OLDER PEOPLE AT RISK FOR DELIRIUM AFTER SURGERY REAPS BENEFITS, ELIZABETH TRACEY REPORTS
Older people who must undergo surgery often develop delirium after the operation, but many times, lighter anesthesia can avoid this outcome. That’s according to Frederick Sieber and colleagues at Johns Hopkins. But such an observation wouldn’t have been possible without including a rather unusual group of people in the study.
SEIBER: We included patients with mild dementia. Usually these are patients that people steer clear of in studying but these are the patients that we’re the most interested in, the highly functioning patients with what we call minimal cognitive dysfunction. Because those are the ones that if anything maneuvers to try to decrease delirium like managing the anesthesia a little differently could have profound impact. :27
Sieber says that studies should include populations of people who may benefit most from an intervention, even if that seems somewhat risky up front. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.