American Society of Anesthesiologists®

Perioperative Brain Health Initiative

Promoting brain health for older adults around the time of surgery

Six Tips to Reduce Confusion in Older Patients After Surgery

Half of all people 65 and older will have at least one surgical procedure in their lifetime. And along with common potential side effects from anesthesia during surgery, older patients are at risk for confusion or short-term memory loss. But rest assured, there are steps seniors can take to minimize these side effects.

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Our Mission

To arm physician anesthesiologists and other clinicians involved in perioperative care, as well as hospitals, patients and their families caring for older surgical patients with the tools and resources necessary to optimize the cognitive recovery and perioperative experience for adults 65 years and older undergoing surgery.

  • We use the term “cognitive recovery” as a general term which includes prevention of delirium and return to baseline cognitive performance.
  • Two major forms of cognitive disturbance after anesthesia and surgery are delirium and postoperative cognitive dysfunction.
Definitions & Terms  

Postoperative delirium is the most common surgical complication for older adults.

And it is preventable in up to 40% of all patients.

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Tools & Resources

Ensure widespread early adoption of the simplest evidence based methods of cognitive protection.

Thank You Perioperative Brain Health Initiative Supporters

Whose contributions help the Perioperative Brain Health Initiative provide tools and resources to optimize the cognitive recovery and perioperative experience for adults 65 years and older.

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