Alcohol withdrawal after open aortic surgery.
This study was designed to test the hypothesis that unexpected alcohol withdrawal-like syndrome (AWLS) is more common following aortic, but not other, vascular or nonvascular procedures. All patients undergoing open aortic surgery at our institution in 1997 who survived at least 48 hr were identified, as were those undergoing carotid endarterectomy, infrainguinal bypass, and total colectomy. AWLS was defined as prolonged confusion or agitation and response to conventional treatment for withdrawal, providing that all other sources had been ruled out or a significant history was present. Our results show that, for unknown reasons, AWLS is more common after aortic surgery than after other vascular and high-stress, nonaortic intraabdominal procedures at our institution, and is associated with increased length of stay and morbidity. Because prophylaxis may improve outcome, better efforts to identify patients at risk are required.
Illig, KA; Eagleton, M; Kaufman, D; Lyden, SP; Shortell, CK; Waldman, D; Green, RM
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