Nearly half of seniors experience delirium after major surgery - 8 News NOW

Nearly half of seniors may experience delirium after major surgery

Updated:
© iStockphoto.com © iStockphoto.com

FRIDAY, July 26 (HealthDay News) -- Delirium occurs in nearly half of older patients right after they have major surgery with general anesthesia, a small, new study finds.

Researchers looked at 91 patients, average age 79, and found that 45 percent of them experienced a sudden change in level of consciousness, inattention and disturbed mental function -- called early delirium -- in the recovery room.

In many cases, delirium persisted after patients were moved to hospital wards. Overall, about three-quarters of all cases of delirium that occurred in the hospital after surgery began in the recovery room.

Patients with early delirium showed significant declines in mental function, even after the researchers accounted for other factors, including length of surgery.

All of the patients in the study lived independently before their surgery. The study found that 39 percent of patients with early, persistent delirium were discharged from the hospital to a nursing home or other facility instead of to their home, compared with 3 percent of those without early delirium.

Among patients who had early delirium but were normal on the day after surgery, 26 percent were discharged to an institution, according to the study, which was published in the August issue of the journal Anesthesia & Analgesia.

The findings show that delirium is a "common but not universal" problem for elderly patients who have surgery, said Dr. Karin Neufeld, of Johns Hopkins University, and colleagues. They said 55 percent of patients did not have delirium in the recovery room, and 85 percent of them remained normal throughout their hospital stay.

The findings suggest, however, that even brief periods of delirium can have lasting effects in seniors, according to a journal news release. The researchers said many cases of delirium in this study would have been missed if monitoring had started the day after surgery, rather than in the recovery room.

Although the researchers found an association among surgery, early delirium in seniors and being discharged to an institution instead of home, the study did not establish a cause-and-effect relationship.

The researchers said further studies are needed to determine the rate and impact of early delirium after anesthesia and surgery.

More information

The U.S. National Institute on Aging has more about seniors and surgery.

Health News Copyright © 2013 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

  • Paula's Health NotesLas Vegas Health NewsMore>>

  • Prostate frozen lumpectomy offers patients an alternative

    Prostate frozen lumpectomy offers patients an alternative

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 3:39 PM EDT2014-07-29 19:39:02 GMT
    More than 230,000 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer this year according to the American cancer society. In most cases, surgical removal of the gland is considered the gold standard of treatment, but results of a new study suggest a new treatment might benefit some patients.More>>
    More than 230,000 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer this year according to the American cancer society. In most cases, surgical removal of the gland is considered the gold standard of treatment, but results of a new study suggest a new treatment might benefit some patients.More>>
  • New therapies for epilepsy

    New therapies for epilepsy

    Friday, July 25 2014 3:00 PM EDT2014-07-25 19:00:14 GMT
    pilepsy is a chronic neurological condition that affects more than 2.5 million Americans. Uncontrollable seizures plague these patients’ lives. Until now, the only treatments were drugs and major surgery, but new therapies are on the horizon.More>>
    pilepsy is a chronic neurological condition that affects more than 2.5 million Americans. Uncontrollable seizures plague these patients’ lives. Until now, the only treatments were drugs and major surgery, but new therapies are on the horizon.More>>
  • Study touts health care workers with less than bachelor's degree

    Study touts health care workers with less than bachelor's degree

    Thursday, July 24 2014 12:08 AM EDT2014-07-24 04:08:05 GMT
    Among Las Vegas workers with less than a bachelor’s degree only 3.5 percent hold jobs in the most common health care occupations, the lowest percentage among the nation’s 100 largest metropolitan areas, the Brookings Institution reported Wednesday night.More>>
    Among Las Vegas workers with less than a bachelor’s degree only 3.5 percent hold jobs in the most common health care occupations, the lowest percentage among the nation’s 100 largest metropolitan areas, the Brookings Institution reported Wednesday night.More>>
*DISCLAIMER*: The information contained in or provided through this site section is intended for general consumer understanding and education only and is not intended to be and is not a substitute for professional advice. Use of this site section and any information contained on or provided through this site section is at your own risk and any information contained on or provided through this site section is provided on an "as is" basis without any representations or warranties.
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and KLAS. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.