Acetaminophen May Aid Recovery Post-Anesthesia

Posted in: Medical Malpractice | Apr 07,2018

A dose of acetaminophen could significantly increase comfort and reduce pain for patients coming out of anesthesia.

Those findings come from a recent study which was presented at a meeting of the American Society of Anesthesiologists.  The study found that acetaminophen reduces the chances of patients suffering shivers and extreme chills when they wake up from the effects of anesthesia.

Approximately 50% of all patients who go under general anesthesia experience shivers, when they regain consciousness. The reason for these shivers is not known, but they are common after surgery. These shivers are not just uncomfortable, but could also be painful. Additionally, such uncontrollable shivering when a patient comes out of anesthesia could actually be dangerous. It places a huge strain on the cardiovascular system, and preventing such shivering is always a priority for doctors. This is especially true in the case of patients who already have a high cardiopulmonary risk. For these patients, such shivering and chills could possibly be deadly.

The researchers focused on data involving 37 patients, who were administered an acetaminophen dose or a placebo during surgery. About 22% of the patients experienced post-operative shivering. Among the patients who had been administered a placebo, shivering occurred in approximately 75 percent of the patients. Besides, there were also differences in the intensity of the shivering. The intensity was much higher in the patients who received a placebo, compared to the patients who received acetaminophen.

What is very encouraging about these findings is that acetaminophen is a safe and commonly used drug, which means the application of these findings should be much quicker.

Advances in medical technology have made anesthesia safer and more convenient to administer. That doesn’t, however, mean that complications do not occur. In fact, complications occur far too frequently, and when they do occur, they place patients at risk. Some of these complications can include pain, nausea, and vomiting.  Other more dangerous complications include anesthesia awareness – a condition in which the patient is physically sedated, but remains painfully aware of the procedure and his environment. In some cases, the patient may suffer from cardiovascular collapse or respiratory depression. While these latter consequences are rare, they are not unheard of.

If you are due to undergo surgery under general anesthesia, make sure that your doctors know your complete medical history, including all medications that you are currently on. Some people may be at a much higher risk of complications. Smokers, persons who suffer from seizures, diabetic patients, persons who suffer from high blood pressure and cardiovascular conditions, or conditions of the heart, kidneys or lungs may be at a higher risk of anesthesia complications. If your loved one has suffered an injury as a result of medical negligence, speak to an Indianapolis medical malpractice lawyer at Montross Miller and learn about your legal rights to a claim.