General anesthesia and surgery can be hazardous for a patient with cystic fibrosis.


Risk factors associated with surgical complications in a patient with cystic fibrosis:

(1) malnutrition with hypoalbuminemia

(2) chronic corticosteroid therapy with poor wound healing and increased risk for infections

(3) colonization with antibiotic-resistant bacteria

(4) mucus plugging of the airways which can result in atelectasis and/or bronchopneumonia

(5) poor respiratory function with risk of prolonged postoperative intubation

(6) coagulopathy associated with vitamin K deficiency caused by malabsorption

(7) hyperreactive airways with bronchospasm


Anesthesia considerations:

(1) Anticholinergic drugs can further increase the viscosity of the secretions.

(2) Inspired gases should be well-humidified.

(3) Oversedation can result in respiratory depression.

(4) The patient should be kept well-hydrated to avoid thickened secretions.


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