Patients put under regional anaesthetic are at a lower risk of complications and death when undergoing surgery for hip fracture.
This is the finding of a new study at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.
In a discovery that could impact the perioperative care of patients, researchers found that regional anaesthesia has greater pulmonary and mortality benefits than general anaesthetic.
The observation was made when the Pennsylvania team monitored the results of more than 18,000 people undergoing hip fracture surgery.
Those that had regional anaesthetic had 29 per cent lower adjusted odds of mortality and a 24 per cent decrease in pulmonary complication likelihood.
Dr Lee A Fleisher, senior author of the study, commented: "Our findings highlight an important potential opportunity to improve outcomes among a growing population of vulnerable surgical patients."
However, many patients have reservations about regional anaesthesia and more needs to be done to highlight its benefits.
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