St George’s Medical School (University of London) and the SSA produced a user-friendly set of factsheets to help integrate knowledge of substance use into the undergraduate medical curriculum. This factsheet examines substance use among patients requiring surgery or anaesthesia. After reading the factsheet, medical students will be able to:

  • describe the range of substance use disorders, including issues relevant to anaesthetics and surgery
  • identify signs and symptoms of substance use disorders in patients presenting for anaesthesia and surgical procedures
  • identify substance use in the pre-operative assessment in surgical patients
  • identify patients who may be at increased risk of post-operative complications
  • identify patients who present an increased risk to healthcare staff due to injecting drug use, and the appropriate precautions to take
  • describe an appropriate care plan for anaesthesia and surgical procedures for patients at risk from substance use

Download the factsheet here