WHEN IS AN ANESTHESIOLOGIST REQUIRED?

The answer to this question is quite simple and straightforward. An anesthesiologist is needed before a surgery. This is the best time to meet with an anesthetist. You can use this opportunity to ask all the questions there is about your anesthesia.

This is the best time to meet and take steps to ensure that you are in the best possible health.An anesthesiologist, like Robert St. Thomas, will do everything possible to answer questions about your anesthetic. Studies have shown that this visit can go a long way to reduce your anxiety about your surgery.

The interview between the anesthesiologist and patient usually takes place in an outpatient clinic. This is known as the pre-assessment clinic abbreviated PAC. Sometimes, this meeting may take place in a phone interview, or in the hospital if the patient has already been admitted. It may also take place in the operating theatre.

Visits to the pre-assessment involves few steps:

Information is gathered mainly by the nursing staff. They answer questions in detail and give more information about the surgery and recovery.

The anesthetist gathers information including:

  • Previous surgical procedures and anesthetic experiences
  • Difficulties encountered with previous anesthetics
  • Complications associated with anesthesia experienced by you or your family
  • Presence of allergies
  • Presence of any underlying medical conditions
  • What medications you are currently taking: whether prescription, over-the-counter, or herbal preparations.
  • Pregnancy status and breastfeeding status
  • Whether or not you are visually or hearing impaired.

The anesthetist may seek to obtain medical records from your primary care physician as part of your preoperative evaluation. The patient is advised to visit the anesthesiologist with all medical records for proper evaluation. A complete list of medications with their dosages should also be presented.

Note that the anesthesiologist works in very stressful situations. He demands a great deal of concentration and alertness, especially in the operating room. The anesthesiologist may also work in outpatient facilities and will have to work with people who are recovering from a surgery or those who need pain management treatment.

During a surgery, the anesthesiologist monitors the patient’s blood pressure, heart rhythm, consciousness level and amount of oxygen in the blood. In the case of a general anesthetic, each breath is measured. This is done by measuring the volume of breath exhaled and the quantity of CO2 in each breath. The amount of blood pumped by the heart may also be measured alongside the blood pressure in the lung vessels.

Once the patient has gone to sleep, the anesthesiologist may adjust the patient’s position with time, depending on the kind of surgery. For instance, a stomach operation will require a different position than a back surgery. The anesthesiologist also checks that the patient has not crossed his legs. This is of utmost importance as crossing the legs may result in nerve damage if the operation is prolonged.

Obstetrical anesthesiologists are needed with pain management during delivery. They discuss options for pain management with the pregnant mother. They administer epidural anesthetics if the mother is in need of it. In the event that the labor is prolonged, or the epidural loses its effect, the anesthesiologist provides a second dose.

Anesthesiologists also work with patients who require pain management out of the operating or delivery room. They are also required at emergency rooms where they help patients with sedation or in need of immediate relief from pain.

Further reading

www.medscape.com

www.hss.edu

www.asahq.org

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