New minute-long test determines patient recovery

26 February 2015

Surgeons at Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, have found that a short assessment can accurately determine how likely a patient is to suffer complications following a procedure. 

Published in the Journal of the American College of Surgeons (JACS), the report could help doctors better determine those patients who are particularly frail without having to judge it solely on age.

The one-minute test could be a breakthrough for surgeons, as many practices do not include a frailty test before an operation as it takes too long to conduct and it requires a fully trained professional. The current standard also relies on patients' honesty and opens it up to discrepancies such as overestimating activity levels and underestimating exhaustion.

The standard test is based on five criteria including weight loss, grip strength, and exhaustion levels, which are all adjusted for gender and age.

Study author Dr Viraj Master said many people assume frailty only applies to someone in their 80s, but people in their 30s and 40s could actually suffer from this.

Posted by Jeanette Royston

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