Picture Quiz: Emergency Surgery - Answer
Obviously, the main difference between emergency and elective surgery is the urgency. In general, emergency cases must have their operation. The issue is how best to manage the risk and reduce it, without causing delays that add to the risk.
All surgery can be grouped into three categories:
Emergency and urgent patients still need to be fully assessed before anaesthesia. In fact, candidates for urgent surgery are often the most unwell and need careful evaluation. Most people requiring urgent and emergency operations will benefit massively from preoperative resuscitation, particularly with fluids. Getting IV access and starting appropriate fluids is important. Investigations can also be vital and allow us to correct problems before the anaesthetic.
Remember: the time needed to wait for results may delay surgery and needs to be balanced against the urgency of the surgery.
Many patients will need surgery before the set limits of fasting times have passed. In addition, many types of emergency surgery are performed in people who have delayed gastric emptying as a result of trauma, pain, fear or bowel obstruction. In these cases, an anaesthetic technique called 'rapid sequence induction' is used to minimise