STEPS TO SAFEGUARD LOVED ONES
ONE of the most important things is to visit family members after their operation to help them readjust to their surroundings.
‘Relatives are probably more effective than anyone else as they have that familiar connection,’ says Professor Robert Sanders, the Nuffield chair of anaesthetics at Sydney University.
Ali Mazaheri, a neuroscientist and an associate professor at Birmingham University’s Centre for Human Brain Health, agrees, adding: ‘I’d visit your loved one as soon as you can after their operation and also make sure they have items from home that can help reorientate them — such as a bedside clock they are used to looking at or pictures of family. It doesn’t mean they won’t get delirium, but it will reduce the risk.’
Dr Mario Cibelli, a pain physician, says it is a good idea to make sure hearing aids and glasses are quickly returned and adds that if the patient is not in good health it may be worth delaying surgery. He says: ‘For instance, a recent chest infection could warrant a period of additional rest prior to surgery, as this would increase the inflammation load when exposure to surgical trauma and more inflammation is imminent.’
dmg media (UK)