Frailty and anesthesia

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Abstract

Purpose of review

This review will deliberate on contemporary concepts regarding the frailty syndrome and its association with the perioperative period. Frailty syndrome and its relevance to organ systems, scoring tools and intervention measures will be discussed in detail.

Recent findings

Frail patients have a reduced ability to respond to physical stress, similar to a decreased physiological reserve in the perioperative period. Frailty assessment is gaining popularity as a tool to guide medical interventions in the elderly population. Various measurement tools for preoperative frailty assessment were developed and show promising ability to predict perioperative morbidity, mortality and possibly to guide patient selection and intervention. Preoperative optimization for the frail patient shows mixed results.

Summary

Preoperative frailty is associated with significant morbidity and mortality. Recently, frailty assessment tools have been developed and show good ability to predict postoperative adverse events. These tools might become a preoperative routine, as they set the ground for patient's selection, guide perioperative interventions for the frail elderly population and thus may influence patient's outcome.

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