Newport Beach, CA, May 04, 2010 --(PR.com)-- According to a recent 'Anesthesia & Analgesia' article, fewer strokes were found when a brain monitor was used to determine anesthesia levels compared to not using one.
“What will it take to awaken the American public to demand a brain monitor when they ‘go under' anesthesia for surgery?” asks prominent board certified anesthesiologist, Dr. Barry Friedberg, founder of the non-profit Goldilocks Anesthesia Foundation that is dedicated to educating the general public about the avoidable risks of post anesthesia dementia. "Anesthesia drugs medicate patients' brains to render them unconscious for surgery."
Before 1996, anesthesia providers were trained to use the patient's body weight and vital signs (i.e. heart rate and blood pressure) changes to guide dosing of anesthetic drugs.
Heart rate and blood pressure changes have been shown to be notoriously inaccurate signs of patient brain activity according to research sponsored by Aspect Medical Systems, the principle brain monitor maker.
"Formal training and years of clinical practice to compensate for the shortcomings of using vital signs changes has led anesthesia providers to over medicate patients by a factor of up to 30% more drug than needed," Friedberg notes. "Formal training and years of clinical practice also contribute to the concern of giving too little drug to the patient's brain."
Tragically, brains of patients over the age of 50 are more likely to experience dementia after anesthesia with routine anesthesia drug over medication, according to a recent report in 'Anesthesiology.'
Brain monitors help anesthesia providers avoid the pernicious practice of anesthesia drug over medication and the risk of post anesthesia dementia. Routine anesthesia drug over medication is now absolutely unacceptable for patients in the 21st century, according to the Goldilocks Anesthesia Foundation.
"Anesthesia dosing guided by the patient's brain response is ‘Goldilocks' anesthesia, always just right, not too much or too little," says the Foundation's founder.
Too much alcohol and repeated head trauma are obviously detrimental to brain health. Too much anesthesia drugs might also be just as bad for the brain.
“Going under anesthesia for surgery without a brain monitor demonstrates a flagrant disregard for the value one's own brain,” says Friedberg. “Demanding a brain monitor is a no-brainer.”
The American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA), as well as the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists (AANA), publicly posture as patient advocates.
"However, ASA and AANA's advocacy of widespread brain monitoring could represent losses of up to 30% of Big Pharma's gross revenues of anesthesia drug sales," says Friedberg.
The drug companies would subsequently have a reduced ability to provide millions of dollars critical to both groups' survival.
“Asking the ASA and AANA to be the patient's genuine advocate is a lot like asking the fox to guard the hen house,” Friedberg says. “Patients must be their own safety advocates, demand a brain monitor, or risk after anesthesia dementia.”
Based on the recent study, the 9 essential questions patients need to ask on their initial surgical consultation can now be downloaded free @ www.GoldilocksAnesthesiaFoundation.org.
Disclaimer: Neither Dr. Friedberg nor Goldilocks Anesthesia Foundation receive financial support from brain monitor makers.