An Age Old Problem: A review of the care received by elderly patients undergoing surgery

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This NCEPOD report from 2010 presents a review of a sample of deaths following emergency and elective surgery in older people. 

It identified several aspects of care for surgical older patients that could be improved and the authors made the following key recommendations to improve care for older people undergoing surgery:

  • Improving the availability of specialist geriatric medical input to older people undergoing surgery
  • Early identification of risk (comorbidity, disability, frailty)
  • Reduction of delays in time to surgery in older people
  • Improved nutritional assessments peri-operatively
  • Improved peri-operative temperature management
  • Better provision of good peri-operative monitoring environments with better management of peri-operative acute kidney injury (AKI) and pain
  • Improved pathways for patients with fractured neck of femur
  • Further training and education of clinical staff to improve the interpretation of the non-specific signs and symptoms that older people commonly present with, so that surgical pathology is not missed in the emergency setting

Read more on Frail older people

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