There is an obvious disincentive for the ASA and its sponsored organizations to encourage the use of brain activity monitoring
Corona del Mar, CA (PRWEB) May 12, 2009 -
Death isn't always the biggest danger of too much anesthesia, says Goldilocks Anesthesia Foundation. Brain damage is also a hazard for patients undergoing surgery when a brain monitor is not used by the anesthesiologist, reveals the recently formed non-profit organization.
There is major and minor surgery, but every anesthesia is major. The patient's brain is at risk every time consciousness is surrendered.
Goldilocks Anesthesia Foundation was launched by Barry L. Friedberg, MD, the top international authority in anesthesia for cosmetic surgery, in order to expose the avoidable dangers of too much anesthesia and to counter Big Pharma's financial interest in acute over medication.
Big Pharma profits are generated through drug sales. More sales mean more profits," Friedberg explains. "The use of brain activity monitors has been shown to reduce drug usage to a lesser, yet appropriate, amount for good quality anesthesia."
As reported in the April issue of 'Anesthesiology' - the official journal of the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) - anesthesia over medication kills one person every day.
Friedberg attributes avoidable deaths, variable degrees of temporary mental impairment, and cases of lingering brain damage to anesthesiologists continuing to measure the wrong thing; i.e. changes in vital signs, now known to be inaccurate indicators of brain response to anesthesia.
"The brain is the target for anesthesia," says Friedberg, a leading expert in the field of anesthesiology for the past 12 years. "It's critical for the brain to be measured with a brain activity monitor; however, most anesthesiologists are not doing this."
The current generation of brain activity monitors gained FDA approval in 1996 and has enabled anesthesiologists to avoid the practice of routine anesthesia over medication.
Goldilocks Anesthesia Foundation maintains that anesthesiologists are discouraged from using brain monitors because the ASA and its sponsored organizations like the Foundation for Anesthesia Education and Research (http://www.faer.org/sponsors/index.html ), the Anesthesia Patient Safety Foundation (http://www.apsf.org/sponsors/ ), and others receive substantial funding directly from pharmaceutical companies.
"There is an obvious disincentive for the ASA and its sponsored organizations to encourage the use of brain activity monitoring," Friedberg says. "Less drug use would translate to less drug sales and profits along with a diminished capacity to continue to provide the same level of support (i.e. money) from Big Pharma to the ASA and their sponsored organizations."
So, how can a patient know if a brain monitor will be used during surgery? By insisting that their anesthesia provider uses one.
Says Friedberg, "If the answer is 'no,' tell them you will find a hospital or surgicenter that does brain monitoring with anesthesia. Taking a firm stand will get attention and as a result, more facilities will use brain monitoring with anesthesia."
According to the non-profit Foundation, public awareness of the serious risks of anesthesia without brain monitoring is the first step.
"Americans must be their own brain safety advocates by insisting on a brain activity monitor with anesthesia. Otherwise, they will be routinely over medicated. Aging Baby Boomers and Medicare-aged Americans, particularly those with diseases in addition to their surgical problems, are especially sensitive to over medication risks. Those risks include pseudo-Alzheimer's, seizures, delirium, increased inflammatory response, possible cancer recurrence, brain damage, variable degrees of mental impairment, and even death," says Friedberg.
Disclaimer: Dr. Friedberg has no financial involvement with any maker of brain activity monitors.
About Goldilocks Anesthesia Foundation:
Goldilocks Anesthesia Foundation is a non-profit organization whose mission is to educate Americans about the public health risk of anesthesia over medication and the value of brain activity monitors.
'Goldilocks anesthesia' is not 'too much' (or 'too little') but just the right amount. Too much is detrimental to the brain. The only way to get 'the right amount' is by measuring patient's brain responses with a brain monitor.
Goldilocks Anesthesia Foundation supports research demonstrating the negative effects of too much anesthesia.
For more information on avoiding anesthesia over medication that can lead to brain damage and death, please visit http://www.GoldilocksAnesthesiaFoundation.org.
Barry L. Friedberg