The president of the British Association of Day Surgery, Dr. Mary Stocker, expressed her concern that not only elderly patients are in greater need for surgery to maintain their quality of life, but these are also probably the patients more likely to suffer the worst consequences of long hospital stays. She therefore defends the urgent need to find strategies to enable them to be day cases. Watch here the full interview on video.
Avoid overfasting, allow patients to drink liquids as needed, "give them good, safe anaesthesia, so that their cognitive function is not impaired" and they are able to go safely home after surgery. These are some of the strategies mentioned by the british specialist.
Other strategies could be as simple as ensuring elderly patients are first on the day surgery list so they have a longer recovery time.
And, most importantly, she advises: "do not exclude these patients from day surgery", even those with dementia or multiple comorbidities. Elderly patients are likely to have worse outcomes when they have to stay hospitalized instead of being allowed to recover in their own environment, "which we know is the best for them and also for their families and the people they live with and care for".