July 25, 2010
By: Erin Archer, R.N. from DrBicuspid.com
Elderly patients presenting for surgery may be harboring undetected oral infections that could lead to expensive and life-threatening complications, according to a study in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society (June 1, 2010).
The entire medical team — including oral care providers — needs to be aware of these risks and conduct preoperative oral assessment in this vulnerable population, according to Jeffrey Yasny, D.D.S., lead author and an assistant professor of both dentistry and anesthesiology at Mount Sinai Medical Center.
“Dental infections are often overlooked in preoperative screening,” he told Dr.Bicuspid.com. “They need to be included with any other sources of infection.”
The geriatric mouth has elements that are particularly concerning perioperatively:
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