Sedatives for patients receiving general anesthesia questioned
Although sedatives are often administered before surgery, a randomized trial finds that among patients undergoing elective surgery under general anesthesia, receiving the sedative lorazepam before surgery, compared with placebo or no premedication, did not improve the self-reported patient experience the day after surgery, but was associated with longer time till removal off a breathing tube (extubation) and a lower rate of early cognitive recovery.
Patients scheduled for surgery may experience considerable stress and anxiety. Benzodiazepine (a class of sedatives) premedication is frequently used to reduce anxiety but also causes amnesia, drowsiness, and cognitive impairment. Treating anxiety is not necessarily associated with a better perioperative (before and after surgery) experience for the patient. More needs to be known about the efficacy of preoperative anxiety treatment to better counsel patients to make informed decisions, according to background information in the article.
Axel Maurice-Szamburski, M.D., of the H