Peri-operative care of people with dementia 2019 | Association of Anaesthetists

Peri-operative care of people with dementia 2019


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