Until a few decades ago, the focus of research in the fields of anaesthesia, intensive care, and emergency medicine was largely on short-term outcomes, such as survival after an acute illness or procedure. As a result, short-term outcomes have generally improved significantly, except for survival after severe sepsis.

The CAPE research programme is aimed at reducing mortality and, particularly, morbidity among high-risk patients undergoing major surgery and/or patients provided with emergency care and critical care.

To achieve this, more insight is needed into the pathophysiology and pharmacology of alterations in body homeostasis resulting from primary acute problems, as well as side-effects of interventions required to solve a primary problem.

Optimizing the restoration and protection of homeostasis will allow patients with injury or disease to overcome this critical episode, with fewer long-term consequences that could negatively impact the natural healthy ageing process.

Relevance

Reduction in mortality and, particularly, morbidity among high-risk patients

Recent research has indicated that diagnostic, preventive and therapeutic decisions made during acute care, critical care, and anaesthesia given for perioperative and therapeutic procedures may have a significant impact on important long-term outcomes, such as long-term survival, cancer recurrence, cognitive function, post-traumatic stress disorder, renal function, and the incidence of chronic pain.

In accordance with these new findings, the CAPE programme is aimed at maintaining and promoting wellbeing and welfare by reducing the impact of interventions for acute and chronic problems and, therefore, contributing to healthy ageing.