Current Anesthesiology Reports

, Volume 9, Issue 4, pp 395–405 | Cite as

Perioperative Management of Delirium in Geriatric Patients

  • Elisabeth Beck PowelsonEmail author
  • May J. Reed
  • Itay Bentov
Geriatric Anesthesia (S Akhtar, Section Editor)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Geriatric Anesthesia


Purpose of Review

We review the current literature on predictors, pathophysiology, and prevention of delirium in surgical patients. The focus is on the role of the anesthesiologist in the prevention and management of delirium in the perioperative setting.

Recent Findings

Recent literature has examined how surgery and anesthetic management can affect the incidence of delirium. Anesthesiologists play a critical role in identifying those at risk of developing delirium and adjusting their anesthetic management and perioperative course to minimize this risk.


Delirium research is evolving rapidly. Current evidence suggests that environmental interventions, pre-operative optimization, and choice of anesthetic plan, such as the use of regional anesthesia and specific medications, can reduce the incidence of delirium in surgical patients.


Geriatric anesthesiology Prevention delirium Post-operative delirium Intraoperative prevention of delirium Ketamine delirium Dexmedetomidine delirium Measurement delirium Review delirium Predictors of post-operative delirium 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

Elisabeth Beck Powelson, May J. Reed, and Itay Bentov declare they have no conflict of interest.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Elisabeth Beck Powelson
    • 1
    Email author
  • May J. Reed
    • 2
  • Itay Bentov
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Anesthesiology and Pain MedicineUniversity of WashingtonSeattleUSA
  2. 2.Division of Gerontology and Geriatric Medicine, Department of Internal MedicineUniversity of WashingtonSeattleUSA

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