Clueless In Chicago: American Society of Anesthesiology Response To Grey's Anatomy TV Episode Appears 'Unaware' Of Major Public Health Risk

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The real public health risk is the routine practice of anesthesia over medication and post anesthesia dementia. Without widespread use of brain monitors for 'going under,' 99.9% of all patients are exposed to the risk of anesthesia over medication.

'Goldilocks' anesthesia, always just the right amount

"...a brain monitor gives extremely valuable patient information not available from conventional heart rate and blood pressure monitoring."

“Patients ‘going under’ without a brain monitor continue to be exposed to a major public health risk from routine anesthesia over medication,” according to prominent board certified anesthesiologist, Barry Friedberg, M.D.

Anesthesia awareness, recently portrayed in the Feb. 4 Grey's Anatomy TV show, continues to be the sole focus of the American Society of Anesthesiology (ASA) disingenuous public information campaign.

The B-Aware Study showed a brain monitor eliminated 80% of this extremely uncommon issue. Yet the ASA demands 'perfection' before advocating widespread use of this device.

Nonetheless, the brain monitor gives extremely valuable patient information that eliminates the need for routine anesthesia over medication. This critical information is not available from conventional heart rate and blood pressure (vital signs) monitoring.

"Vital signs are notoriously inaccurate signs of patient brain activity, making the ASA's continued reliance on them 'clueless' indeed," says Friedberg. "Brain monitoring could have even measured the propofol effect on Michael Jackson independently of the other Valium like drugs in his body, likely avoiding his death."

The ASA has coined a sterile expression for dementia's devastating public health risk: 'Postoperative Cognitive Dysfunction or POCD.'

"Patients over the age of 50 are at much more risk of post-anesthesia dementia that can last for hours, days, weeks, or in the worst case, permanently," Friedberg claims.

Why does the ASA continue to emphasize awareness when, without a brain monitor, 99.9% of patients are exposed to the known risk (i.e. dementia) from the routine practice of anesthesia over medication?

“Could 'co-opted by millions of drug company support dollars' be the simplest, but least obvious, answer to understand why advocacy of routine brain monitoring is consistently resisted at the ASA's Chicago HQ?” muses Friedberg.

Educating Americans that brain monitoring when ‘going under’ can avoid post-anesthesia dementia risk from routine anesthesia over medication is the principle goal of the non-profit Goldilocks Anesthesia Foundation.

The 9 essential questions patients need to ask on their initial surgical consultation can be downloaded free at http://www.GoldilocksAnesthesiaFoundation.org.

Disclaimer: Neither Dr. Friedberg nor Goldilocks Anesthesia Foundation receive financial support from brain monitor makers.

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Barry Friedberg

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