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Anaesthesia for adult cardiac surgery 

Anaesthesia for adult cardiac surgery
Anaesthesia for adult cardiac surgery

R. Peter Alston

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date: 24 September 2020

To safely provide cardiac anaesthesia for adults undergoing surgical treatment of acquired heart disease, the anaesthesiologist needs have an intimate understanding of the physiology, pathophysiology, and pharmacology of the cardiovascular, pulmonary, and coagulation systems as well as many high-level technical skills such as transoesophageal echocardiography. Patients undergoing cardiac anaesthesia require thorough assessment. Before the patient arrives, the anaesthetic and/or operating rooms and staff should be prepared for surgery. The anaesthesiologist should provide an anaesthetic technique that avoids precipitation of cardiovascular collapse and be prepared to manage it if collapse occurs. The anaesthesiologist must understand the technique of cardiopulmonary bypass (CPB), how to provide anaesthesia during CPB, and how to wean from CPB. The ability to diagnose and treat, the cardiovascular and bleeding complications that result from surgery is also essential to cardiac anaesthesia. Finally, safe transfer of patients to, and establishment in the ICU is required.

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