Anesthesia Evaluation (Encyclopedia of Surgery)
Anesthesia evaluation refers to the series of interviews, physical examinations, and laboratory tests that are generally used in North America and western Europe to assess the general fitness of patients scheduled for surgery and to determine the need for special precautions or additional testing. There is no universally accepted definition of anesthesia evaluation as of 2003; however, the Task Force on Preanesthesia Evaluation of the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) has tentatively defined it as "....the process of clinical assessment that precedes the delivery of anesthesia care for surgery and for non-surgical procedures." Anesthesia evaluation is usually discussed in the context of elective or scheduled surgical procedures rather than emergency surgery.
Anesthesia evaluation is a relatively recent development in preoperative patient care. Prior to the 1970s, anesthesiologists were often given only brief notes or outlines of the patient's history and physical examination written by the operating surgeon or the patient's internist. This approach became increasingly unsatisfactory as the practice of anesthesiology became more complex. In the last four decades, the introduction of new anesthetics and other medications, laser-assisted surgical procedures, increasingly sophisticated monitoring...
(The entire section is 2036 words.)
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