Clinical DIMENSIONThe Use of β-Blockers to Decrease Adverse Perioperative Cardiac EventsRyder, Debora L. MSN, RNAuthor Information Debora L. Ryder, MSN, RN, is charge nurse in the postanesthesia care unit at Morton Plant North Bay Hospital and graduate of University of South Florida, Tampa, Florida. Address correspondence and reprint requests to: Debora L. Ryder, MSN, RN, 1001 Bay Vista Drive, Tarpon Springs, FL 34689 ([email protected]). Dimensions of Critical Care Nursing: March 2008 - Volume 27 - Issue 2 - p 47-53 doi: 10.1097/01.DCC.0000311591.08183.19 Buy Metrics AbstractIn Brief As the population ages, more surgeries are performed on patients with increased risk factors. Many of these surgeries will result in complications and mortality. Myocardial ischemia is often associated with cardiac complications in the perioperative patient. Unfortunately, an episode of myocardial ischemia will result in a 70% mortality rate. Perioperative patients are complex because of their atypical presentation, incisional pain, and the effects of analgesia. The critical care nurse must be able to determine a patient's risk factors and surgical risks and then take measures to ensure that the patient receives adequate treatment both before and after surgery. β-Blockers may decrease a patient's risk of developing myocardial ischemia, yet they are often underused. A multidisciplinary approach is needed to ensure the proper use of β-blockers in an effort to reduce cardiac complications in the perioperative elderly patient. β-Blocker therapy is known to decrease a patient's risk of developing myocardial ischemia yet is often underused. This article discusses various cardiac complications that can occur after surgery and the benefits of using β-blockers. © 2008 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.