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Informed Consent and Cognitive Dysfunction After Noncardiac Surgery in the Elderly

Hogan, Kirk, J., MD, JD*; Bratzke, Lisa, C., RN, PhD; Hogan, Kendra, L., JD, MPH

doi: 10.1213/ANE.0000000000002689
Geriatric Anesthesia: Special Article

Cognitive dysfunction 3 months after noncardiac surgery in the elderly satisfies informed consent thresholds of foreseeability in 10%–15% of patients, and materiality with new deficits observed in memory and executive function in patients with normal test performance beforehand. At present, the only safety step to avoid cognitive dysfunction after surgery is to forego surgery, thereby precluding the benefits of surgery with removal of pain and inflammation, and resumption of normal nutrition, physical activity, and sleep. To assure that consent for surgery is properly informed, risks of both cognitive dysfunction and alternative management strategies must be discussed with patients by the surgery team before a procedure is scheduled.

Published ahead of print November 30, 2017.

From the *Department of Anesthesiology, School of Medicine and Public Health, University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin

School of Nursing, University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin

Dean’s Office, School of Medicine and Public Health, University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin.

Published ahead of print November 30, 2017.

Accepted for publication October 23, 2017.

Funding: None.

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Reprints will not be available from the authors.

Address correspondence to Kirk J. Hogan, MD, JD, Department of Anesthesiology, School of Medicine and Public Health, University of Wisconsin, B6/319 Clinical Science Center, 600 Highland Ave, Madison, WI 53792. Address e-mail to khogan@wisc.edu.

© 2018 International Anesthesia Research Society
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