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No evidence of long-term PTSD risk in patients with awareness during surgery
Date:6/20/2014

June 20, 2014 Patients with confirmed episodes of awareness during anesthesia and surgery don't seem to be at increased risk of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or other problems with psychosocial well-being at long-term follow-up, reports a study in Anesthesia & Analgesia.

"We found no indication that intraoperative awareness with recall had any long-term effects on patients' psychosocial outcome," concludes the new research by Dr Tanja Laukkala of the Centre for Military Medicine in Helsinki, Finland. Anesthesiologists "should respond to the findingswith a mixture of cautious optimism coupled with a renewed commitment to the prevention and treatment of PTSD" after intraoperative awareness, according to an editorial by Dr George A. Mashour of University of Michigan Medical School and Dr Michael S. Avidan of Washington University, St Louis.

No Long-Term Cases of PTSD after Awareness during Anesthesia The long-term follow-up study included nine patients with a documented episode of intraoperative awareness during general anesthesia. All patients had "definite awareness with recall"they accurately described events that occurred during their surgery. The patients were identified from previous Finnish studies of intraoperative awareness.

A median of 17.2 years after their episode of intraoperative awareness, the patients were evaluated on a battery of tests of psychosocial well-being. Assessment included formal diagnostic interviews for PTSD, along with anxiety, depression, and other psychiatric disorders. Nine patients with similar characteristicswho had undergone surgery without intraoperative awarenesswere studied for comparison.

The results showed no significant difference in psychosocial outcomes for the patients with versus without intraoperative awareness. In particular, none of the patients with intraoperative awareness were diagnosed with PTSD.

In fact, in no patient did the epi
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Contact: Brian Freiland
Brian.freiland@wolterskluwer.com
215-521-8372
Wolters Kluwer Health
Source:Eurekalert

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