‘Surgery, anesthesia and your brain.’
Doesn’t have quite the same caché as ‘sex, drugs and rock ‘n roll.’
Most people will spend more time shopping their next car they than giving any thought to anesthesia for their upcoming surgery. They just assume someone is watching out for them.
What you don’t know about anesthesia could kill you, or worse, leave you in a bad state.
Estimates are that between 20-30 million people every year will have surgery and anesthesia. Ninety-nine point nine percent of them will be over medicated as a matter of routine anesthesia practice if they do not have a brain monitor as part of their anesthesia regimen.
The organization that claims to be watching out for patients under anesthesia is the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA). On March 9th this year, they publicly proclaimed themselves to be in ‘the never ending pursuit of patient safety and satisfaction…’
Those of you who may have followed my press releases on the wire or on my web site know that I debunked this myth in my March 11th press release as well as publicly challenging the ASA to defend their actions in delaying for 7 years (1983-1990) declaring pulse oximetry was a ‘standard of care’ in anesthesia as opposed to this specious claim in their press release.
Like Henry Ford II, they never explained and never complained.
When one cannot understand behavior, always follow the money. Turns out, anesthesiologists were billing for the use of the pulse oximeter until the ASA cut a deal with Medicare sometime in 1989 to bundle the extra charge into the basic anesthesia fee.
Once there was no longer any additional money to be made, the ASA declared the ability to know a patients’ oxygen status on a beat by beat basis fundamental to anesthesia safety; i.e. a ‘standard of care.’
Only recently did I learn the ugly truth about the billing issue and the standard of care declaration. This behavior on the part of organized anesthesia did not enhance the reputation of people like myself. I ‘went on the line’ to our hospital administrator in the name of patient safety reasons in 1983 and kept waiting for support from my national organization.
The Point: If you couldn’t trust the ASA in the 1980s on oxygen and patient safety, how can you trust them today with anesthesia over medication and brain activity monitors?
Using classic distraction tactics, the ASA has chosen to focus public attention on the 0.1% of Americans who might experience anesthesia awareness, while ignoring the public health risk to 99.9% of Americans routinely exposed to anesthesia over medication.
Americans, no one is looking out for you!
GoldilocksAnesthesiaFoundation.org was founded for this very purpose, to warm Americans of the insidious public health risk of routine Anesthesia over medication and the role of brain activity monitors in drastically reducing, if not outright eliminating, those risks.
To avoid over medication, patients need to ask their surgeon, facility administrator or person in charge of anesthesia if brain monitors are routinely used at the facility where surgery is scheduled. If the answer is not convincing, patients should go where brain monitors are routinely used.
When enough patient dollars are lost, institutions will reassess their practices. Brain
monitoring will become more commonplace and the public health risks of anesthesia over medication will dramatically diminish.
Disclaimer: Dr. Friedberg has no financial involvement with any maker of brain activity monitors.
I am looking forward to hearing from you…
Write soon and with passion.