Depending on the patient’s risk factors, complications can occur in patients administered with post general anesthesia. The patient’s age and current health can dictate how the patient will respond. If the patients have heart, lung, circulatory, or nervous disorders, and previous reactions to anesthesia, risk factors can increase. In any of these cases, please discuss with your doctor your medical history.
Post Anesthesia Complications
While the overall risks associated with general anesthesia are low, serious complications can result to include heart attack, stroke, brain damage, and death. These risks appear to appear in every 1:1000 and 1:100,000 with infants and patients older than 70 being at a greater risk.
The following additional complications may also occur.
• Awareness during surgery – An estimated 30,000 patients per year in the United States wakes up during the surgery. The patients appear to be paralyzed with regard to motion, but otherwise are awake and aware. Present day devices are used to measure brain wave activity and a patient’s state of consciousness.
• Nausea and vomiting – Post operative nausea and vomiting are common with general anesthesia causing side effects in weakness, drowsiness, and tiredness for several days. Additional blurred vision, coordination issues, and fuzzy thinking may take place.
• Anesthetic toxicity – Inhalation anesthetics are sometimes toxic to the liver, kidney, or blood cells. Halothane may cause hepatic necrosis or hepatitis. The danger to the red blood cells routes from carbon monoxide found in the breakdown of products inhaled in the circuits of the anesthesia machines.
• Malignant hyperthermia – This is a rare condition caused by an allergic response to the general anesthesia. Symptoms include rapid, irregular heartbeat, breathing issues, high fever, and muscle tightness or spasms.
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