Ageing populations have greater incidences of dementia. People with dementia present for emergency and, increasingly, elective surgery, but are poorly served by the lack of available guidance on their peri-operative management, particularly relating to pharmacological, medico-legal, environmental and attitudinal considerations. These guidelines seek to deliver such guidance, by providing information for peri-operative care providers about dementia pathophysiology, specific difficulties anaesthetising patients with dementia, medication interactions, organisational and medico-legal factors, pre-, intra- and postoperative care considerations, training, sources of further information and care quality improvement tools.
These guidelines are a concise document designed to help peri-operative physicians and allied health professionals provide multidisciplinary, peri-operative care for people with dementia and mild cognitive impairment. They include information on:
- Involving carers and relatives in all stages of the peri-operative process
- Administering anaesthesia with the aim of minimising peri-operative cognitive changes
- Training in the assessment and treatment of pain in people with cognitive impairment