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Anesthesiology Study Finds Aspirin Helps Cardiac Surgery Patients

Posted by floriza in Anesthesiology

Led by an anesthesiologist at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, a recent study has shown that cardiac surgery patients have fewer postoperative complications if they take aspirin in the five days leading up to the procedure. The study will be published in the journal, Annals of Surgery.

The anesthesiology and cardiac researchers, which included physicians at the University of California-Davis Medical Center, discovered that aspirin can reduce the risk of renal failure or of death within 30 days of surgery, and it can reduce the length of time a patient must spend in the intensive care unit.

Complications after cardiac surgery are common, and the majority of efforts to reduce these numbers have largely been unsuccessful.

The Study Subjects

The records of 4,256 patients who received surgical procedures at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital and U.C. Davis Medical Center from 2001-2009 were analyzed, and 2,868 met the criteria to be included in the study. Most of these patients received coronary artery bypass or heart valve surgery. Just under 2,000 patients took aspirin in the five days prior to their surgery. Some of them only took it once in those five days. The remaining patients did not take aspirin at all before their coronary surgery.

The patients who took aspirin were definitely found to have a better outcome post-surgery than those who did not. The researchers caution that aspirin can cause stomach bleeding, which can be a problem for some patients. Other therapies may be instituted to control bleeding and clotting issues associated with aspirin, however.

Subsequent studies could provide enough evidence to warrant altering the guidelines that anesthesiologists and cardiac surgeons advise prior to these surgeries.

What is Anesthesiology?

Anesthesiology is the field of medicine that involves preparing patients for surgery. Besides administering anesthesia that puts the patient “to sleep” during the procedure and numbs the body so that surgery cannot be felt, the anesthesiologist interviews patients and conducts a number of tests prior to surgery. Anesthesiologists also often evaluate whether a patient is a viable candidate for an anesthetic or for surgery.

The anesthesiologist is usually present during the entire surgical procedure to monitor the patient and administer additional anesthetic, if necessary. These professionals often assist the patient in waking from the procedure and provide post-surgical care, including pain management.

Anesthesiology in New Jersey and other parts of the United States is a highly specialized field that requires a great deal of training on the part of the anesthesiologist.

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