Waking Up After Anesthesia

May 8, 2009 6:52:12 PM PDT
Sometimes the worst part of surgery is recovering from the anesthesia. That out-of-it feeling usually takes hours or even days to wear off. One team of doctors figured out a way to clear patients' heads of anesthesia within minutes, and it's helping them feel like themselves faster.Nicole Franzen had a spontaneous retinal detachment. Her retina separated from the rest of her eye. She had three surgeries and dreaded the anesthesia more than the actual operation.

"I felt vey groggy, dizzy and extremely nauseous," Franzen told Ivanhoe. "I was dizzy at home and needed assistance around the house."

Derek Sakata, M.D., Director of Anesthesia at the John A. Moran Eye Hospital at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, Utah, and two other doctors at the University of Utah created a device that reverses the effects of anesthesia quickly.

"Although the anesthetics are needed to keep you asleep and comfortable during surgery, after surgery there isn't any good reason to have those anesthetics on board," Dr. Sakata told Ivanhoe.

It's called the QED-100. It's a re-breathing device that works as a filter to trap the anesthetic.

"What this device does is it allows patients to re-breathe their carbon dioxide and their oxygen, but the anesthesia gets trapped in this device as we increase the ventilation of the patient," Dr. Sakata said.

Having patients re-breathe their own CO2 increases blood flow in the brain, which gets the anesthetic out faster. The anesthesiologist then turns up the patient's ventilation which clears the lungs as well. In a study, patients who used the device were able to state their full name and the date along with their date of birth about 10 minutes after surgery. Nurse Margaret Cason says some of her patients come out of the OR chatting.

"Our patients are coming out awake, communicating, asking to go to the restroom, asking us when they can go home -- and this is right out of the door," Cason told Ivanhoe.

"I felt alert," Franzen said. "I felt awake. I was not nauseous."

It's a faster, safer way to bring people out of surgery.

Right now, the QED-100 is being used in 129 hospitals. It has already been used on 10,000 patients and can be used on most adolescents and adults. It is particularly effective on people who suffer from obstructive sleep apnea.

FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT:
Anecare, Inc.
(801) 977-8877

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