June 1, 2007
Perioperative Management of Cardiovascular Drugs
It is estimated that by 2010 cardiovascular disease will be the leading cause of death worldwide. In some countries more than 1 in 4 people suffer from some form of cardiovascular disease. Many surgical patients take cardiovascular medications and the perioperative management of these medications poses particular challenges for the anaesthetist. Decisions must be made based on a careful risk-benefitÂ analysis for each patient. The risk of stopping some drugs is often greater than the risk of continuing them during surgery, but surgery itself may alter the need for continued therapy for certain conditions. This article offers a guide to the medications you may encounter and provides advice on how they may be used in the perioperative period.
Dave Pappin, Vanessa Helliwell