The Declining Rates of Complications Related to Anesthesia

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The Declining Rates of Complications Related to Anesthesia

The Declining Rates of Complications Related to Anesthesia

anesthesia complicationThe use of anesthesia is important in various aspects of the medical field. Anesthesia, however, is not without its risks and complications. Pain, nausea, vomiting, and headaches are just a few of the most common issues of general anesthetics. Severe complications include cardiovascular collapse, respiratory depression, nerve injury, brain damage, and in some cases, death.

New studies indicate, however, that anesthesia-related complications in the country have fallen by more than half. According to North American Partners in Anesthesia (NAPA) and WebMD, the risks have become relatively uncommon, with experts saying that anesthetics is among the safest areas of healthcare today.

Advancement and Improvement

Complications associated with anesthesia have declined dramatically over the last few decades. The number of people working the field has also increased, with improved patient outcomes. This is mainly because of the technological advancements and improvements in general practice. It can also be attributed to the emphasis anesthesiologists are putting on patient care.

Drop in Complications

The Anesthesia Quality Institute cites that complications dropped from 11.8 to 4.8 percent in 3.2 million cases. Medical errors, occurred in about 12 percent of cases while postoperative nausea and vomiting (PONV), the most common complication, arose in about one-third of the cases.

Decline in Preoperative Death

The American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) reports that 50 years ago, the number of anesthesia perioperative deaths where about 1 in 1,500. Today, however, that rate has improved nearly tenfold. This means there has been a significant increase in the safety of sicker and older patients during operation.

The report further added that the chances of a patient suffering intra operative death are less than 1 in 200,000. An experienced anesthesiologist involved inpatient care is helpful when it concerns enhancing safety during surgeries.

The Role of Patients

Patients ‘going under’ can further lower the complications of anesthesia by meeting with the medical team to go through their options and understand their risks. They should also follow the physician’s instructions about eating to avoid vomiting and other complications.

Researchers say they need to conduct further studies to confirm promising results. Additional research will help guide and improve safety related to anesthesiology.

The rate of negative effects has decreased in recent years. It is best to understand the factors related with these event to further improve patient safety and healthcare delivery.

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About The Author
Calvin Hall is a registered dietitian currently taking medical degree at a medical university in Utah. He maintains a blog where he dispenses advice on weight management.
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