Intermediate Complications Under Anesthesia

There are complications occurring during anesthesia that are more serious than those listed above, but in most cases the effect will be transient and you will still most likely have a complete recovery.

Allergic reactions during anesthesia are usually mild and easily managed. These reactions can be seen with the administration of various medications, especially antibiotics, associated with surgery. Allergic reactions in the operating room are increasingly associated with the use of latex products (like gloves). Severe allergic reactions (anaphylactic reactions) are uncommon. Allergic reactions vary in intensity from mild redness of the skin and rash to a full-blown anaphylactic reaction with severe respiratory distress, wheezing, generalized hives, and cardiovascular collapse.

Aspiration pneumonia may occur under general anesthesia when contents from the stomach rise into the back of the throat, and due to the absence of airway reflexes in the anesthetized patient, these contents may be inhaled into the lungs (see Chapter 4). This is potentially a very serious complication, but in most cases it is not severe and can be easily treated. In its most severe form, aspiration can lead to overwhelming pneumonia, respiratory failure, and even death.

Awareness is the condition of being awake during surgery when your anesthesiologist thinks you asleep. This is discussed in detail in Chapter 16.

Bronchospasm is a condition where the smooth muscles in the airways constrict and is clinically manifested by wheezing. These constricted airways result in an impaired ability to breathe and exchange gases in the lungs. Bronchospasm can be induced by anesthesia, especially in individuals with a history of asthma or chronic lung disease. This is usually easily treated, but on occasion it can be a life-threatening problem.

High blood pressure and low blood pressure have a variety of causes in the anesthetized patient. Most of the time, these changes in blood pressure are transient and have no adverse consequences. High blood pressure may reflect poorly controlled preexisting hypertension or the stress response during surgery. High blood pressure can stress the heart and increase the risk of stroke. Low blood pressure may be the result of anesthetic induced cardiac depression, hemorrhage, or inadequate fluid replacement. In the patient with poor cardiac function, certain anesthetic agents may cause dangerously low blood pressure. Modest levels of decreased blood pressure are acceptable; profound drops in blood pressure jeopardize most organs of the body, especially the heart and brain.

Nerve injuries associated with anesthesia and surgery may vary from mild tingling in the fingers to complete paralysis. Most nerve injuries are due to patient positioning errors that compress or stretch nerves for prolonged periods of time while the patient is asleep.3 During normal sleep, humans continually move and adjust body position to keep undue pressure off any particular area. Under general anesthesia, the patient is unaware and unable to move or adjust body position to relieve sustained pressure on a nerve. If a nerve is compressed or stretched long enough, injury will result. Fortunately, most nerve injuries are temporary, and full recovery can be expected in a matter of hours, days, or weeks. Nerve injuries associated with spinal or epidural anesthesia are rare and are discussed in Chapter 26.

Shivering after surgery is common and is often related to the combined effects of anesthesia gases on the central nervous system (especially the spinal cord) and to lower-than-normal body temper ature (hypothermia). A variety of factors during surgery and anesthesia may contribute to shivering: To begin with, general anesthesia will significantly inhibit the body's ability to maintain normal temperature; the operating room temperature is frequently frigid; room-temperature solutions are applied to you to cleanse a wide margin around the area of your surgery; and often, large parts of your body are exposed during surgery. When your body temperature drops below normal, your brain responds by having your muscles shiver in an attempt to generate heat. Shivering results in dramatically increased oxygen consumption and activation of the body's stress response. Shivering can actually be dangerous in patients with coronary artery disease and in infants and small children.

Allergic To Everything

Allergic To Everything

The human body And Todays chemical infested world. Here is a news flash You are not allergic to pollen, pet dander, or whatever it is that makes your body revolt Rather, your body just can not handle that one thing, what ever it is, anymore, due to the massive barrage of toxic chemicals you and everyone else are ingesting every single day.

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