The perioperative implications of posttraumatic stress disorder.
Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is an anxiety disorder that develops after exposure to a traumatic event and is characterized by symptoms of reexperiencing, emotional numbing, persistent arousal, and avoidance. Approximately 6.8% of the people in the United States will be diagnosed with PTSD at some point in their lives. The presence of PTSD in a surgical patient can be important because PTSD is associated with the use of psychoactive medications, risky health behaviors, cardiovascular comorbidities, depression, chronic pain, and cognitive dysfunction, all of which may influence the risk of perioperative morbidity and mortality. In addition, patients with PTSD are anxious around unfamiliar people and in unfamiliar environments. The purposes of this journal course are to provide anesthetists with a working knowledge of the symptoms, treatments, and comorbidities associated with PTSD and to suggest ways of interacting with patients with the disorder that increase trust and decrease the risk of evoking posttraumatic symptoms in the perioperative environment.
Wofford, K; Hertzberg, M; Vacchiano, C
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