If you are preparing for a medically necessary or elective surgery that requires general anesthesia, it is natural to be worried about what it will be like. Although anesthesia can stop you from feeling the pain of a procedure, the thought of losing control of your consciousness can be frightening.
General anesthesia is common in many surgeries and medical procedures. Most patients do not experience any problems. However, when there is a problem with the administration, dosage or related care of anesthesia, the consequences can be deadly for patients.
Potential side effects and injuries
Nausea and dizziness are common side effects of general anesthesia. In addition, patients may have difficulty moving or balancing after the operation as the anesthesia takes time to wear off. Nurses and other medical staff should help patients manage these symptoms until they return to normal.
However, some results of anesthesia are not normal nor common. Regaining consciousness during the procedure may indicate the wrong dosage or timing of anesthesia. Anesthesia overdose, however, could lead to a prolonged coma, brain damage or death.
Talk to your doctor about your risk factors
According to Medical News Today, circumstances that may increase your chances of complications under anesthesia include:
- A history of heart attacks or stroke
- Use of certain medications, such as blood thinners or pain relivers
- Lung conditions, apnea and smoking
- Kidney problems
- Previous allergic reactions to anesthesia or other medications
- Frequent or heavy alcohol use
If you have certain risk factors, your doctor may choose a different formulation of anesthesia or opt for local anesthetics instead. Preventing complications when possible is just as important as responding to any problems that arise unexpectedly during the procedure.
Medical staff has a duty to monitor you
Throughout the administration of anesthesia, your operation and recovery period, the anesthesiologist, surgeon and other staff must carefully monitor you. If you show any signs of breathing trouble, heart attack, allergic reaction or significant bleeding, they must act quickly.
Time matters, and an attentive medical professional could save your life. Unfortunately, anesthesia errors are not always caught before time is up. You cannot speak up for yourself while under general anesthesia, which means that your medical provider has a critical responsibility to keep you safe.