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Alcohol Withdrawal 

Alcohol Withdrawal
Chapter:
Alcohol Withdrawal
Author(s):

Tracy McGrane

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780190226459.003.0093
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date: 24 September 2020

This chapter, “Alcohol Withdrawal,” reviews the prevalence, presentation, pathophysiology, and anesthetic considerations for patients encountered at risk of alcohol withdrawal, as well as current intensive care unit practices caring for patients at risk of alcohol withdrawal to allow for improved perioperative crisis management. It reviews physiologic derangements in both acute and chronic alcoholism, and reviews the current evidence for prevention and treatment of alcohol withdrawal in the intensive care unit, including fixed-dose versus loading-dose versus symptom-based treatment using benzodiazepines, and the use of alcohol, barbiturates, propofol, beta blockers, and alpha-2 agonists as treatment choices. Also discussed are complications of alcohol withdrawal syndrome to recognize and considerations for treatment of pregnant women and elderly patients in alcohol withdrawal.

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