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Respiratory diseases in the elderly 

Respiratory diseases in the elderly
Respiratory diseases in the elderly

Irwin Foo

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date: 05 July 2020

This chapter focuses on the common respiratory diseases found in the elderly surgical patient that contribute to postoperative morbidity and that are amenable to preoperative optimization. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is reviewed first and includes diagnostic criteria and the confounding this leads to in the elderly patient because of their ageing processes. The pathology, pathogenesis, systemic effects, and psychosocial factors are then reviewed. Assessment and management are covered with regard to peri-anaesthetic care. Asthma is the next disorder reviewed as is the misconception that relatively fewer elderly patients have asthma. Diagnosis is discussed and the differences between early and late onset asthma explored. Management, especially inhaler training, is reviewed and possible means of optimization is preoperatively identified. Obstructive sleep apnoea increases with age and the pathophysiology, clinical presentation, and treatment are discussed in detail, with emphasis on the relatively low number of diagnosed rather than undiagnosed sufferers.

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