Anesthesia – The silent killer in many cases
Each year in the United States, anesthesia/anesthetics are reported as the underlying cause in approximately 34 deaths and contributing factors in another 281 deaths, with excess mortality risk in the elderly and men. This information is based on the assumption that all anesthesia related deaths were correctly identified, reported and coded.
There are 3 main reasons why people die when given anesthesia:
- Circulatory failure due to hypovolemia in combination with overdosage of anesthetic agents such as thiopentone, opioids, benzodiazepines or regional anesthesia;
- Hypoxia and hypoventilation after for instance undetected esophageal intubation, difficult intubation, technical failure in the anesthetic equipment, or aspiration of gastric content
- Anaphylactoid reactions including malignant hyperthermia
- Human negligence such as lack of vigilance or errors in the administration of drugs and in the maintenance and control of the anesthetic equipment.
How many times have you heard the doctor say that “I am going to out the patient to sleep” ? Well it turns out by taking Anesthesia you are never put to sleep. It is a drug induced reversible coma.
Common anesthesia medications: