In 1930, the life expectancy of patients with Down syndrome was about 10 years; today, their life expectancy is more than 60 years. With aging, there is an increased need for anesthesia and surgery. There is, however, no published information regarding the anesthetic management of older adults with Down syndrome. In this report, we described the anesthetic management of a 50-year-old woman with Down syndrome undergoing major cervical spine surgery. Components of the anesthetic that we thought would be difficult such as intravenous line placement and endotracheal intubation were accomplished without difficulty. Despite our best efforts, our patient nevertheless experienced both emergence delirium and postoperative vomiting. We advocate that physicians, advanced practice providers, and registered nurses be aware of the unique perianesthesia needs of older patients with Down syndrome.
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