The number of elderly individuals has been rapidly increasing in most industrialized countries over the last few decades. The quality of life for the aged can be considerably improved by the use of modern surgical techniques for treatment of disabling disease. The age-dependent basic decline in organ function together with an increased incidence of complicating disease, however, increases the perioperative risks for the geriatric patient. A critical evaluation of the influence of different anesthetic procedures on per- and postoperative complications is, therefore, necessary. In the present study basic problems involved in geriatric anesthesia are discussed with emphasis on pulmonary function and on the effects of various anesthetic techniques on postoperative pulmonary complications in patients subjected to hip fracture surgery. At present there is no conclusive evidence indicating a correlation between the anesthetic technique used and the occurrence of postoperative pulmonary complications. Regional anesthesia has, however, certain advantages over general anesthesia and may reduce the anesthetic risk for the geriatric patient undergoing hip fracture surgery.
- hip fracture
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