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Topics - loiswstern

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General Plastic Surgery Issues / SAFETY AND SURGERY
« on: October 16, 2012, 11:45:43 AM »
You already know the sad story of Michael Jackson and his death under questionable medical care. His attending physician, Dr. Conrad Murray, is now serving four years in prison for the involuntary manslaughter of his patient - who died in 2009 of acute Propofol intoxication. Noted anesthesiologist, Dr. Barry Friedberg was called to testify in this infamous case.

What I have learned from Dr. Friedberg is frightening, yet also gives us a clear call to action. Every day a vast majority of Americans are routinely over medicated when going under anesthesia simply because their anesthesiologists are not measuring their brains. During surgery, doctors routinely monitor the heart rate, blood pressure, oxygen levels in the blood, and administer an EKG; but ironically, it has not been routine to monitor the brain – the very organ that the sedation is working on. I am told that brain monitors are found in 75% of US hospitals, yet only used 25% of the time, mostly because patients simply do not know to ask for them.
Please listen carefully. Anesthesia over-medication is especially perilous for people over 50. Nearly 40% of people leave the hospital in a ‘brain fog,’ clinically called Post Operative Cognitive Dysfunction (POCD). One person dies daily from anesthesia over- medication. But death is not the worst result of the nefarious practice of routine anesthesia over-medication. The most serious risk faced from routine anesthesia over-medication is waking up with dementia after anesthesia (DAA) & never again being the same person as before they underwent anesthesia. This is a scenario that Dr. Friedberg firmly believes ould be eradicated with the use of a twenty dollar brain monitor sensor.

The FDA approved the BIS brain monitor 15 years ago. Yet the ASA has stubbornly resisted encouraging its widespread use. Americans should be outraged to learn the ASA appears more concerned with receiving millions of drug company dollars over preserving patients’ lives.
Anesthesia medicates the brain. BIS measures the brain’s response. Measuring is better than guessing.
A recent study conducted on 921 elderly patients undergoing major non-cardiac surgery confirms Dr. Friedberg’s assertions. To read details of the study, here.

So what is the call to action for the rest of us? If you or a loved one needs surgery under anesthesia, ask the simple question: “Do you use a brain monitor when I will be under anesthesia? Demand BIS or go elsewhere for your surgery.
“Going under anesthesia without a brain monitor is like playing Russian roulette with your brain,” says Dr. Friedberg. “You have to live with the long term effects of your short term care.” this brief interview with Dr. Friedberg.

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By Lois W. Stern
Author, journalist

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