Proper selection of sedative drugs improves outcomes: volatile anesthetics are surgeons’ best friends

Hassan Farhan, Stephanie D. Grabitz, Katarina J. Ruscic, Matthias Eikermann


Inhalational anesthetic agents (IAs) have been used for general anesthesia for more than 150 years. Since then, the safety profile of this class of anesthetics has improved markedly as drugs to control hypotension and techniques to secure the airway have been refined. However, it is only over the past few decades that we have begun to appreciate the versatility and benefits of using these agents for more than just anesthesia. We recently published a study reporting a dose-dependent protective effect of inhalational anesthetics against postoperative respiratory complications. These findings have generated great interest and discussion, and we thank Landoni et al. for their acknowledgement of and insight into the implications these findings may have for inhalational anesthetic use both within and outside of the operating room setting.