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New Study Raises Questions on Anesthesia Monitoring System

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flashl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-15-08 11:45 AM
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New Study Raises Questions on Anesthesia Monitoring System
Experts Say Further Study Needed to Understand Why Anesthesia Fails

Imagine this: You're lying on the operating table, apparently unconscious. The surgeon is cutting. But you're still awake. Not only that, you're paralyzed by the drugs the anesthesiologist gave you and can't speak out.

That horrifying experience happens to between 20,000 and 40,000 Americans every year, leaving many -- not surprisingly -- severely traumatized.

Now, a study in today's issue of the New England Journal of Medicine is raising questions about a monitor used by about 60 percent of U.S. operating rooms in an effort to prevent these frightening cases.

...

Officials at the company that makes the monitor said other studies have demonstrated its usefulness, especially compared with standard practice. That typically does not involve the kind of close monitoring that patients in the new study received, said Scott Kelley, medical director at Aspect Medical Systems.

Regardless, Avidan and others said, the findings show that more research is needed to better understand why anesthesia fails.

"Even one case of anesthesia awareness is really too many," said Jeffrey L. Apfelbaum, president of the American Society of Anesthesiologists.

Washington Post
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