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5.0 out of 5 stars
What you must know before receiving anesthesia, December 7, 2010
By Leslie (Midwestern USA) – See all my reviews
This review is from: Getting Over Going Under: 5 Things you Must Know before Anesthesia (Paperback)
Having elective surgery is a scary proposition for most people. We go to a trusted doctor or get a good referral, have a consultation to understand our options and even seek out a second opinion; but how much do we research the anesthesiologist, the person we trust to make sure we wake up after the procedure is over? For most people, not much research at all. Most patients meet the anesthesiologist the morning of the surgery and know very little about them. This book explains what everyone needs to know, what you must know, before receiving any anesthesia.
This is a subject I have a great interest in. Several years ago my mother received too much anesthesia during an elective surgery. Perhaps you know of someone, usually an elderly person, who had an operation and afterwards was never quite the same, had memory problems and then slowly declined losing their independence; dementia sets in. That’s what happened to my mom. The doctors say it’s one of those things that happens with older people after surgery. I don’t believe things like that `just happen’. After much questioning of the medical staff, a few individuals confided, off the record, that the cause was the anesthesia.
This experience set me on the path of discovery. For the past few years I have been reading everything I can on the subject of anesthesia and it’s effects on patients. I was determined to never let this happen to anyone again if I could prevent it. That meant educating myself on the subject.
Recently I discovered Getting Over Going Under by Dr. Barry Friedberg, an anesthesiologist. This book was exactly what I was looking for. Dr. Friedberg explains in layman’s terms how anesthesia works and what it does to the brain and the body. It’s written for the patient in an easy to understand manner. He explains how traditionally doctors medicate the brain using a best guess dosage of drugs based on patient height and weight. The result of over or under anesthesia can cause a range of problems from patient discomfort and disorientation to hallucination, dementia and even death.
Dr. Friedberg’s “Goldilocks” method of anesthesia uses a brain monitor to determine the exact dosage for each patient by monitoring the brain while the patient is under. Perhaps I was naive, but I assumed hospitals were already doing that. Per Dr. Friedberg, most hospitals do not use a brain monitor even if the equipment is available. “The brain monitor”, says Dr. Friedberg, “allows the anesthesiologist to know with certainty whether more or less anesthesia is needed”. There are a variety of reasons, including pharmaceutical company profits, that most doctors don’t use the brain monitor. Old habits are hard to break and new techniques are slow to be put into use.
In easy to understand steps the book outlines what patient can do to safeguard their own health. Dr. Friedberg reviews the five things you must know before anesthesia and gives useful tips on how to talk to your doctor. This book is an invaluable tool to educate patients. No one cares about you as much as you do. You have the right to ask for the high-quality care you deserve.
Source: Review copy provided by author.