Senior anaesthetists with specialist interest in pre-operative assessments have an integral role to play in helping patients become confident about their surgery. Potentially high risk patients must be thoroughly assessed so that they receive the right treatment especially in the case of comorbidities. One of their major tasks according to Dr. Rowan Molnar, a senior specialist anaesthetist with extensive clinical experience in anaesthesia at a tertiary referral hospital level, both in Australia and internationally, is to assess the pros and cons of various surgical and non-surgical alternatives. In addition, patients must be informed of any risks and how they can be reduced in the pre-operative stage.
The importance of risk prediction
The anaesthetist must be skilled at risk assessment and management and form a line strong line of communication with the patient, surgeon and critical care physicians. This is essential to ensure the best possible outcome for the patient which can be achieved through multidisciplinary meetings. Dr. Rowan Molnar is of the opinion that risk prediction is the best way to determine the course of a patient’s pre-operative care. In the case of unplanned admissions, clear pathways of care are essential and must include anaesthetists, surgeons, and the emergency and operation theatre departments as well. This will ensure a high standard of care and avoid risks especially in vulnerable groups such as patients with disabilities, specific conditions, and the elderly. Communication between the anaesthetists, surgeons, and intensivists always works in the best interests of patients who along with their kin must be included in any discussions.