What are the risk factors for anesthesia awareness?

Risk factors for anesthesia awareness include high-risk, emergency surgeries, lifestyle factors like drinking or abusing drugs, and medications being taken by the patient. In this video, anesthesiologist Yael Varnado, MD, explains these risk factors.
Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)

Risk factors for anesthesia awareness include:

• Light anesthesia - As you might expect the most common reason for anesthesia awareness is inadequate anesthesia. Still, sometimes it is a necessary safety measure, particularly when operating on patients requiring cesarean sections, heart surgery and for certain operations performed on critically ill or trauma patient.

• Personal history of awareness

• Patients are more likely to experience anesthesia awareness if they have had it once before.

• Machine malfunction or misuse - Can affect the amount of anesthesia delivered.

• Human error - Administering the wrong dose or wrong drug.

•Natural red hair - Redheads may be genetically programmed to need more anesthesia.

• Family history - May point to genetic factors that influence metabolism of anesthetic agents. Type of anesthesia- Some agents used to maintain anesthesia are short acting.


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