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Cheryl Nimmo

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© 2022 Elaina Branco


Postoperative cognitive dysfunction (POCD) and postoperative delirium (POD) are of concern in the elderly population undergoing an anesthetic due to increased mortality and decreased quality of life that can ensue. Sui et al. (2021) reported a 15-50% incidence of POD in elderly surgical patients. Dexmedetomidine is a highly selective, alpha-2 agonist with sedative, analgesic, and anxiolytic properties that mimics a sleep-like state and causes bradycardia and hypotension but not respiratory depression. Dexmedetomidine has neuroprotective properties, including anti-apoptosis and anti-inflammation (Wu et al., 2019). A current review of the literature revealed that dexmedetomidine use can decrease POD incidence in the aged patient population undergoing general anesthesia. Intraoperative or postoperative dexmedetomidine use should be considered in the elderly patient receiving general anesthesia.


MSNA Capstone



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