Avoiding perioperative oxygen debt

Tamas Leiner, Krisztián Tánczos, Zsolt Molnar


Perioperative management of high-risk surgical patients is a complex and complicated process. Hemodynamic instability can inflict vital organ hypoperfusion that can have several serious consequences, mainly due to cellular oxygen debt. Therefore, adequate monitoring guided early interventions are inevitable to avoid serious postoperative complications. However, conventional indices, including heart rate, blood pressure, skin temperature and urine output have limited value in diagnosing compensated shock. Therefore, advanced hemodynamic monitoring may become necessary when in addition to cardiac output other measures of oxygen delivery are also taken into account during treatment. However, any alteration that aims to affect macrocirculation only makes sense if it is followed by improved microcirculatory perfusion and adequate oxygen delivery to the cells. Putting the puzzle of hemodynamic stabilization together requires a complex, holistic approach. The purpose of this review is to discuss the holistic approach of multimodal, individualized monitoring that can help to avoid perioperative oxygen debt in high risk surgical patients.