It has been a while since I’ve had a patient with postoperative alcohol withdrawal. I can still recall my first exposure to this problem as a 3rd year medical student at the Veteran’s Hospital. It was my first clinical rotation – surgery service at the VA.
Browsing the CME articles on the JAMA website, I came across the article (full reference below): Improved Outcomes in Patients With Head and Neck Cancer Using a Standardized Care Protocol for Postoperative Alcohol Withdrawal. For me it was a nice review of the problem with updates on current drug use/protocol.
Their protocol is based on three distinct clusters of symptoms characterize alcohol withdrawal syndrome (AWS). Central nervous system excitation usually occurs within 12 to 48 hours after the last drink. Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at Suture for a Living*