Some patients require emergent, urgent, or elective surgery in the time period immediately following diagnosis of concussion. However, changes in brain homeostatic mechanisms following a concussion and concern for secondary brain injury can complicate the decision as to whether or not a surgery should proceed or be postponed. Given the paucity of available evidence, further evaluation of the use of anesthesia in a patient with concussion is warranted. This article summarizes what is currently known about the relevant pathophysiology of concussion, intraoperative anesthesia considerations, and effects of anesthesia on concussion outcomes in an attempt to help providers understand the risks that may accompany surgery and anesthesia in this patient population. While most contraindications to the use of anesthesia in concussed patients are relative, there are nonetheless pathophysiologic changes associated with a concussion that can increase risk of its use. Understanding these changes and anesthetic implications can help providers optimize outcomes in this patient population.
Recommended CitationRasouli, Mohammed R.; Kavin, Michelle; Stache, Stephen; Mahla, Michael E.; and Schwenk, Eric S., "Anesthesia for the patient with a recently diagnosed concussion: think about the brain!" (2020). Department of Anesthesiology Faculty Papers. Paper 61.
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