Anesthesia Side Effects

Anesthesia has been used in surgery for more than a century. But while decades of innovation have made it reliably efficient, they have yet to smooth out a few quirks, not least being the numerous side effects. Not everyone will experience adverse symptoms after being put under, but the possibility cannot be brushed aside.

Luckily, most anesthesia side effects are minor. General weakness, headache, and body ache are normal, as the body is still getting used to having sensation back. If a tube was used to administer the drug or to aid in breathing, the patient may have a dry throat upon waking up, which may develop into strep throat later on. The anesthetized area can feel itchy and irritated; doctors usually advise against scratching or tapping and instead prescribe a soothing cream. Major surgeries are commonly followed by jaundice, a condition marked by yellowing of the skin and eyes.

Different age groups can also experience different side effects. In children, shivering and chills are among the most common symptoms. These cannot be prevented, but they can be alleviated by wrapping a thick blanket around the child for a few minutes. In adults, side effects include nausea and vomiting, as well as a range of digestive problems. Many patients report bloody stools and urine the first few days following the operation. Older patients often wake up confused and lose some short-term memory, although this usually passes and is no cause for concern.

Other symptoms are more drastic. For example, a patient’s blood pressure can drop drastically and cause fainting, especially when they first stand up. Rarely, a patient can have an adverse reaction to the anesthesia and require a longer stay at the hospital. This usually happens when a person has an existing condition that wasn’t taken into account. Doctors can also administer too little or too much anesthesia, although such cases are far from the norm.

While many of these side effects can be avoided, most of them actually result from the drug affecting an existing condition. This is why anesthesiologists take a full medical history of the patient, from previous illnesses and surgeries to any known allergies. The latter is especially important because some allergic reactions to anesthesia can be serious. There are different types of anesthesia, and some are made specifically to skirt certain conditions or reactions. The more a doctor knows about his patient, the better the choice he can make.

Types Of Anesthesia

Anesthesia works by blocking off the nervous system in some way so that a person feels numb or stays unconscious during surgery. An additional purpose can also be to help the patient relax before the surgery and block memories of it afterwards. There are three main types of anesthesia, according to scope: local, general, and regional.

Local anesthesia, as the name suggests, affects only a specific part of the body, such as a patch of skin or a limb. The person stays awake during the surgery, but they may be given strong sedatives to help limit movement. This type lasts only up to a few hours and is used in out-patient surgery, meaning the patient can come in and leave on the same day. The effect usually lasts for a while after the surgery, helping to relieve post-operational discomfort. Dental surgery and stitching wounds are the most common examples.

Regional anesthesia works on a large area, but not the whole body. An example is the epidural given to women in labor. The drug is injected into a cluster of nerves that control a given region, such as the lower half of the body. Sometimes doctors just inject large doses of local anesthesia, although this is risky and should be done only under very controlled

Epidural Anesthesia

An epidural is a type of regional anesthesia, a drug that numbs a large area of the body. In this case, the numbness extends from the waist down. Its most common use is during normal labor and childbirth, although it is also used for other deliveries such as induced labor, vacuum delivery, and caesarean sections.

Epidural anesthesia is optional; some women choose not to get it for safety or personal reasons. Some doctors recommend using an epidural only in cases of extreme pain or when complications arise that require surgery. In normal deliveries, the pain serves as the signal for the mother to push, so an epidural can actually prolong the process.

The drug is injected into the lower part of the spine, usually with the patient lying on her side and curled up tightly. This gives the anesthesiologist the clearest view of the spinal column possible. The area is first injected with a local anesthetic, which will numb the pain from the actual epidural injection. A test dose is then injected to make sure the epidural is being administered in the right place, then the full shot is delivered through a catheter. Along with the epidural, the patient is given a range of other medications according to her specific needs, delivered through the same catheter.

Epidural injections can be painful, not least because they are usually delivered during contractions and require an uncomfortable position. Some women feel a sharp pain or jerk in their legs during the injection; this means the needle has nudged a nearby nerve, but is no cause for concern.

When the epidural anesthesia is in effect, the patient will feel the contractions but not the pain that would normally come with it. In some women the numbness extends up to the chest or down to the knees. Most patients can discuss the scope of the medication with the anesthesiologist beforehand, choosing how much they want to feel during the birth.

The risks of an epidural are usually minor, such as fetal distress and a drop in blood pressure. Rare complications include nerve injury and paralysis. Also, not all patients can be given an epidural—some conditions make the risks outweigh the benefits. People with heavy bleeding, back infections, low platelet counts, and hard-to-locate spinal features are usually turned down for an epidural. The drug can also react negatively to other medications the patient is taking. If you’re considering an epidural for your birth, make sure to give your doctor your full medical history so any potential reactions can be ruled out.

General Anesthesia

General anesthesia renders a person unconscious during surgery and other major medical procedures. This is both to avoid pain and to block out the memory of the operation. Although being anesthetized is generally called “being asleep,” the patient is actually in a different state. Unlike local and regional anesthesia, which acts on the nerve receptors that receive pain signals from the brain, general anesthesia turns off the brain itself, so that it isn’t able to send any signals at all.

The anesthesia is usually a combination of intravenous drugs and various inhaled gases. Besides these anesthetic agents, the process also involves controlling the patient’s breathing and pulse and monitoring vital functions throughout the surgery.

The risk associated with general anesthesia is low, although side effects are common. These include nausea, digestive problems, fever and chills, numbness, and mild confusion upon waking up. They are usually no cause for worry, especially in healthy patients. The risk rises for people with heart, lung, or kidney problems, people taking aspirin and other blood-thinning agents, smokers, drinkers, and those with allergies or sleep apnea. Obese patients are also at higher risk.
Many people worry that they will wake up while under general anesthesia. This does happen, but it’s very rare—about one in a thousand people—and many are simply aware of their surroundings and don’t wake up in pain. The likelihood is higher during emergency surgery (where often a different type of anesthesia, called dissociative, is used) and in patients who drink alcohol daily, have heart or lung conditions, and have been using tranquilizers or anticonvulsants.

Patients are asked to fast several hours before being put under because the procedure turns off the body’s ability to retain food in the stomach, which means any food taken may end up in the lungs. Some medications may also be stopped during this period; these include oral diabetes treatments, which can interfere with blood function.
The anesthesiologist and his team will take a full medical history of the patient before the operation. This will allow them to choose the right mix of drugs (some people can have adverse reactions to common anesthetic agents, or may be allergic) and avoid complications. If the patient has undergone surgery before, the team will also look into prior anesthesia used as an indicator. This is why it’s important to tell the doctors everything—the more information they have, the safer and more effective the medication will be.

Anaesthesiology    

We are going to focus on the three aspects which, to our understanding, are most appealing. Please remember to read the clarifications made under the “Legal Warning” section at the end of the article.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Anaesthesiology is the field of Medicine which deals with pain treatment and integral care of the surgical patient before, during and after surgery.

Apart from the above-mentioned fields of action, our speciality currently includes others, namely pain treatment, critical medical profiles and extrahospital or intrahospital emergencies.

Our duties inside the operating theatre go beyond anaesthetizing patients, mainly consisting of protecting and regulating their vital signs, in order for the surgical intervention to cause them the least possible alterations.

In fact it is us, the surgeons, who are in charge of diagnosing and tackling any problem or medical incident which may occur while practising the operation or during the postoperative period immediately after.

The main types of anaesthetics are:

General anaesthetics: The patient remains unconscious.

Regional anaesthetics: The region of the body which is going to be operated on is anaesthetized, hence its name. To do so, the anaesthetic is injected into the region close to the nerves which capture the sensitivity of that region.

Local anaesthetics: Anaesthetics is directly administered into the area on which the surgeon is going to operate.

Anaesthetics always entails a risk for the patient, which will vary mainly according to the type of intervention which the patient is to undergo and their physical health prior to the operation.

Anyhow, serious accidents are exceptional. Complications related to anaesthetics have significantly decreased in the past 25 years. Likewise the number of deaths attributed to anaesthetics has fallen dramatically. Today it is estimated that the death risk due to anaesthetics is 1 out of 200,000 cases.

EPIDURAL ANALGESICS FOR LABOUR

Epidural analgesics is administered into the spine or vertebral column between two vertebrae of the lower part of the back. A special needle is used which enables us to identify the epidural space, located just outside the meninges, which contain the cephalorachideal liquid and the spinal chord.

In most cases, its duration can be extended for the time required.

In general it is safe both for the mother and the newborn, but can occasionally cause complications and side effects which are rarely serious. Such complications may arise despite the patient being carefully observed and the anaesthesiologist having taken all the necessary precautions to prevent them.

THE PAIN CLINIC

Many of the techniques and medicines anaesthesiologists use to alleviate pain during surgery can also be used for other types of pain. We know this thanks to the inclusion of the study of different forms of acute and chronic pain as well as their treatment in our medical training.

Pain Treatment Units are normally made up of and managed by anaesthesiologists who have specialized in this practice.

However, a Pain Clinic normally consists of multidisciplinary units where other specialists, usually consultants specialized in Internal Medicine, Oncology, Rheumatology, Rehabilitation and Psychology, also carry out their healing tasks. They are all backed by the experience and the knowledge required to asses which treatment suits each patient.

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Dental Insurance For Seniors

Insurance of any kind is hard to come by for seniors, at least not for a reasonable price. Dental insurance is no exception. Because they tend to need more specialized care and are more prone to problems, seniors have to pay a premium for dental coverage, often being charged more than twice their younger counterparts. That being said, there’s still some affordable dental insurance for seniors out there—it just takes a bit of shopping around.

Many seniors are drawn to dental discount plans. These aren’t insurance per se; they work by offering discounted rates for dental procedures. As with group insurance, the more members there are, the greater the discounts can be, since there are more paying members to cover the difference. The main advantages are the short waiting periods (since there are no examinations needed), wider coverage (pre-existing conditions are usually covered), and the looser limits on age and exclusions.

Of course, for procedures that cost more than average, discount plans may not be ideal. For traditional dental coverage, seniors often turn to organizations such as the AARP (American Association of Retired Persons, although they serve all seniors now, retired or not), which specializes in health coverage. The AARP currently has about seven million members, although not all are covered by dental insurance.

AARP dental coverage is provided by Delta Dental, a preferred provider association (PPO). This means that the insurer allows members to choose their dentists and switch dentists as they please, even out-of-network ones. All you have to do is pay your share of the fee and leave—no need to file claims or fill out reimbursement forms.

Delta Plan A offers 100% coverage for diagnostic and preventative procedures, and 80% coverage for maintenance and repairs. Restorative procedures, such as fillings and root canals, receive 50% coverage. Full coverage is also offered for dental accidents, with a maximum lifetime claim of $1,000. The coverage increases after twelve years of membership. Delta Plan B covers only 80% of the cost for diagnostic and preventative procedures, and 50% for all other procedures. Dental accident insurance is not included.

AARP dental coverage is offered to all its members, with the option to enroll spouses, partners, and dependent children (those who are under 26 or are disabled). Coverage is given for a minimum of 12 months and can be renewed every year, provided all the premiums are paid. If you’d like to give it a try, the group gives you a 30-day period within which you can withdraw and get a full refund.

Dental Insurance In Florida


Dental insurance in Florida is a big industry, but luckily, coverage isn’t as hard to come by as in some other states. Most employed residents are covered at least partially by their employers. Others have private insurance that they pay for out of pocket. The reason it’s especially important to get insurance in Florida is that dental care can be prohibitively expensive—a family can easily spend a few thousand dollars a year in regular check and maintenance procedures, plus the occasional extraction or surgery.

In Florida, the insurance industry is overseen by the state’s Department of Financial Services. This is the first place you’ll need to look if you’re looking for dental insurance. All insurance providers must be recognized by the department, so checking with them is your way of making sure you’re dealing with legitimate providers. The site also keeps a log of companies with complaints filed against them, so you can avoid the obviously bad ones.

This level of regulation helps keep insurance rates in Florida fairly competitive. That being said, not every quote you come across will be a good deal; you still have to do your own comparison shopping to make sure you’re getting the best out of your money. Experts recommend looking up references for providers, or even asking around from people you personally know.

It may also help to do the math and figure out how much you’re actually saving. If you don’t feel you need to visit the dentist that often, you may actually be better off just paying for the occasional visit. For example, the average cost of a periodic exam is about $50, while a cleaning costs around $80. Extractions will set you back around $500; this can be more or less depending on the complexity of your case. Spread the costs out over a year and compare it to the yearly cost of insurance, taking into account the risk of accidents (if they’re covered) and other conditions that may come up.

As with any other form of insurance costs depend on the scope of the plan (i.e. procedures covered), the amount of deductibles, and the flexibility allowed in choosing practitioners. Make the rates work in your favour by reading through each offer carefully. Look beyond the price and make sure you’re getting reasonable coverage—there’s no point paying pennies a day if you still have to shell out hundreds for your part of the bill, or wait a year to be reimbursed.

What Makes A Good Dental Plan?


For the average individual, a good dental plan that won’t break the bank can be hard to come by.
The unfortunate fact is that specialized services such as dental care don’t come cheap, and most of us have little choice but to save up for the proverbial rainy day. But that’s not to say it’s not worth looking—in fact, if you know where to look and have the patience for it, you can probably find a dental plan that fits both your needs and budget.

The first thing you want to look for is value; that is, how much the plan is worth. Many dental plans will cover you up to a given limit. For example, if your coverage is worth $1000 per year, that means you can get up to $1000 worth of treatments until you renew. Most insurers will also impose limits on what services they will pay for, such as tooth extractions, fillings, and routine cleaning. Each of these may have its own dollar limit. Your choice should depend on the treatment you expect to need within the coverage period. If you have a fairly good dental record, you may want to get more coverage for checkups and accidents than treatments for preexisting conditions. Likewise, if you’re prone to infections or have had several treatments in the past, treatments should be a bigger priority.

Another important consideration is the dentist network. Most insurance companies allow you to choose from a list of dentists; choosing from outside this network can mean more out-of-pocket money or even no coverage at all. Look at a potential insurer’s network and check out the practitioners that are most accessible. It’s not so much about the number of options as it is about each dentist’s ability. You’ll want at least a couple of dentists you can easily reach and who have a good track record.

Finally, you should take the insurer’s service itself into account. How easy are they to get in touch with? Do they respond to claims in a reasonable time? Are their provisions clear? It’s practically a given that being insured means more paperwork every time you need medical care. This is true with both small and big companies, so reputation and size aren’t the only things to look at. But many companies do make an effort to provide good service and it’s usually worth paying a little extra to make sure you get treated and reimbursed right away.

Plant Sterols: A Brief Overview

You’ve probably heard people recommending you to use sterols for healthy circulatory system. But what are sterols? Does your body need them? Are they really safe to use as nutritional supplements? And perhaps you’d like to know more about it. If you do, then, you’ve come to the right place.

To start with, most people use sterols as steroid alcohols, which are a subgroup of the steroids. These are actually an important class of organic molecules, which naturally occurs in plants, animals and even fungi. The most familiar type of animal sterol is cholesterol, which is important to an animal’s cell membrane structure and function.

There are three types of sterols. First are the Phytosterols, which are sterols of plants. Among the good sources of this type of sterols include: grains, legumes, beans, milk, yogurt, sesame oil, vegetable oil, olive oil, corn oil, cashews, almonds, walnuts and pecans.

Second are the Zoosterols, which are sterols of animals. And finally, the third type of sterols is called Ergosterol which is a sterol that is present in the cell membrane of fungi.

Sterols as Nutritional Supplements

Now, among the three types of sterols, Phytosterols or plant sterols are the ones used as nutritional supplements or food additives. Recent studies show that this type of sterols is able to block cholesterol absorption, particularly in the human intestine.

With this ability, it is an effective means of reducing cholesterol levels in the human body. Therefore, using this as a food additive is currently approved by United States’ Food and Drug Administration.

However, recent concerns about the use Phytosterols as food additives have emerged. Some experts are worried that aside from blocking cholesterol absorption, sterols may also prevent the body to absorb important nutrients.

Because of this, the American Heart Association or AHA has recommended that only people with high levels of cholesterols should use these supplemental plant sterols. In addition, the AHA also advised pregnant women and nursing mothers not to take this type of food additive.

In addition to this, some experts also believe that once phytosterols undergo purification process, it becomes biologically in active, which means it may not be effective in lowering cholesterol levels.

Even so, Phytosterols look very promising and it looks like a good way to fight high cholesterol, heart disease and even atherosclerosis. It is imperative to study its long term effects to find out what may happen if higher amounts of purified phytosterols are consumed.

Medical Administration And Healthcare Jobs


With aging populations in many developing countries, health care is one of the fastest growing industries around the world. The new jobs being created in health care range from the highly specialized, such as surgery and dermatology, to general services such as nursing and emergency care. More and more, administrative jobs such as billing and information management are also opening up. As a result, institutions such as Anthem College are offering more targeted training in these fields and creating increasingly competent graduates.

Administrative work in the medical field requires several skills that a typical training program does not provide. Medical offices deal with a large number of clients, each of whom has a unique case, medical history and follow-up schedule. Medical administrators need a specialized skill set to deal with this volume of information while recognizing that each name is a patient with real concerns and needs. The same goes for other services such as insurance handling, billing, and records handling.

Needless to say, one needs more than basic secretarial skills to work effectively in the medical field. Medical administrators and staff need at least a working knowledge of medical terminology so they can be of valuable to doctors and nurses, as well as share vital information about patients. They also have to be familiar with medical procedures when scheduling exams, forwarding test results, and answering questions for patients.

This is why most medical administration positions now require specialized training or bachelor’s degrees. More competent staff allows for a better flow of information, quicker communication with patients and better service in general from the emergency room to the billing office. With the stress that comes with providing health care, doctors naturally want well-trained assistants to keep the office running smoothly so they can focus on doing their job and taking care of patients.

Many people opt to get their training on a part-time basis so they can work while getting their qualification. This allows them to support their studies as well as get valuable work experience. More and more institutions are also offering their courses online, allowing students even more freedom and flexibility. This is especially ideal for people who have families, who have full-time jobs, or who are always on the road.

No matter how you decide to get your training, medical administration is a promising field with lots of opportunities no matter where you are. As long as you take the time to choose a reputable school, put in the work and learn as much as you can, you’re sure to find a career that’s financially rewarding and fulfilling at the same time.