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    The world's population is ageing. Although regional anaesthesia is well established, it seems there is limited evidence to support its use over general anaesthesia in the elderly. This review aims to examine recent publications of regional anaesthesia in relation to this specific patient subgroup. There is a paucity of evidence specifically relating to regional anaesthesia in the elderly patient. Studies tend to be small, retrospective and can combine assessment of multiple surgical and anaesthetic techniques in single studies. Surgical stimulus and the associated stress response are linked with an increased risk of morbidity in elderly patients. Regional anaesthesia is associated with reduced morbidity, improved pain scores, improved patient satisfaction and reduced resource allocation. Regional anaesthesia can potentially offset some of the surgical stress response and should be considered as part of a multimodal and, where possible, the primary approach to anaesthesia and analgesia in the elderly patient. Undoubtedly, peripheral nerve blocks improve analgesia and reduce opioid consumption and their associated side effects. This is beneficial in the perioperative care of elderly patients who may have less physiologic reserve to withstand these side effects. Future large prospective trials are required to evaluate the duration of action and safety profile of local anaesthetic agents and adjunct agents in the older patient. Copyright © 2020 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.


    Eva Corcoran, Brian Kinirons. Regional anaesthesia in the elderly patient a current perspective. Current opinion in anaesthesiology. 2021 Feb 01;34(1):48-53

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    PMID: 33315640

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