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Muscle Weakness 

Muscle Weakness
Chapter:
Muscle Weakness
Author(s):

L. Jane Easdown

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780190226459.003.0073
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date: 21 September 2020

Muscle weakness in the perioperative period is a common finding and is a risk to patient safety. It can occur as a result of many physiological, pathological, and iatrogenic states. The most common etiology is the use of, misuse of, and failure to reverse neuromuscular blocking drugs (NMBDs). Patients might also present with underlying neuromuscular disorders at baseline or in an exacerbated state after surgery and anesthesia. Muscle weakness can lead to critical events such as respiratory failure and can delay recovery and discharge. The plan for prompt diagnosis and management of a patient with muscle weakness is presented. Knowledge of the pathophysiology, assessment, and treatment of perioperative muscle weakness is essential to ensure optimal patient outcomes.

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