[Perioperative Anesthesiologic Management: Risk Assessment and Preoperative Improvement of Patient Conditions]

Anasthesiol Intensivmed Notfallmed Schmerzther. 2021 Mar;56(3):159-173. doi: 10.1055/a-1114-4481. Epub 2021 Mar 16.
[Article in German]


With patient safety being anesthesiologists' top priority, the focus of preoperative assessment must be to reduce perioperative morbidity and mortality of each patient entrusted to us. Perioperative risk is multifactorial and depends on the extent of surgery and the preoperative condition of the patient.The three main causes of unexpected perioperative death are cardiac arrest, hypoxemia and acute bleeding. Therefore, cardiac and pulmonary risk assessment should cover pre-existing conditions, patient's functional capacity and risk factors associated with the surgical procedure. Specific assessment tools have been developed, are easily accessible and have proven effective in every day clinical practice. Regarding the risk of bleeding, taking a detailed patients' history (including medication) seems to be more suitable to detect mild bleeding disorders than laboratory screening.Functional capacity, defined as the patient's ability to cope with everyday life, gains importance in preoperative risk assessment, as do further factors like deficiencies in nutrition, anaemia, physical capacity, the metabolic status or frailty in the elderly. Prehabilitation strategies reduce perioperative mortality and morbidity by improving functional capacity. These include preoperative nutrition supplementation, physical exercise, correction of iron deficiency and optimized treatment of hyperglycemia.A combination of thorough risk stratification and prehabilitation strategies can improve preoperative conditions and reduce complications in the postoperative period.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Anesthesiology*
  • Frailty*
  • Heart Arrest*
  • Humans
  • Postoperative Complications / prevention & control
  • Preoperative Care
  • Risk Assessment
  • Risk Factors