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Marijuana use may affect patient anesthesia

August 2, 2019 | Pain News Network

When Colorado legalized marijuana, it became a pioneer in creating new policies to deal with the drug. Now the state’s surgeons, nurses and anesthesiologists are becoming pioneers of a different sort in understanding what weed may do to patients who go under the knife. Their observations and initial research show that marijuana use may affect patients’ responses to anesthesia on the operating table — and, depending on the patient’s history of using the drug, either help or hinder their symptoms afterward in the recovery room.

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In Joint Statement, ASA Backs Need for Anesthesia Provider in Pediatric Dental Procedures

July 30, 2019 | Anesthesiology News

An additional, well-trained professional who is capable of providing anesthesia and managing a patient under sedation should be present for all pediatric dental procedures, according to a joint statement from the American Society of Anesthesiologists, Society for Pediatric Anesthesia, American Society of Dentist Anesthesiologists and Society for Pediatric Sedation.

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If you’ve had anesthesia, you can likely thank this veterinarian who just won a top science prize

May 24, 2019 | Science

The Albert and Mary Lasker Foundation has awarded its three annual prizes, regarded as the United States’s most prestigious biomedical research awards, to four researchers in fields including genetics and anesthetic drug development. The Laskers often precede a Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine: Since the awards were founded in 1945, 87 Lasker laureates have later gotten the call from Stockholm. John “Iain” Glen, a Scottish veterinary-anesthesiologist now retired from AstraZeneca, the biopharmaceutical company headquartered in Cambridge, U.K., won the clinical award for development of propofol. One of the most widely used drugs for inducing anesthesia, propofol is administered some 60 million times per year in the United States.

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The surprising (and Long) story of the first use of ether in surgery

March 30, 2019 | The Conversation

In the small town of Jefferson, Georgia, about 20 miles from the University of Georgia in Athens, a 26-year-old physician named Crawford Williamson Long removed a tumor from the neck of a man named James Venable while Venable was anesthesized with ether. The date was March 30, 1842. More than four years later, in Boston, Massachusetts, on Oct. 16, 1846, Thomas Morton, a dentist using ether, served as anesthesiologist while Dr. John Warren, a surgeon at Boston’s Massachusetts General Hospital, performed surgery on a patient’s neck. A physician observer rushed the news to local newspapers and medical journals, and thus history was written – inaccurately.

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Having anesthesia once as a baby does not cause learning disabilities, new research shows

February 18, 2019 | The New York Times

A major international study provides new reassurance around the question of whether young children who have anesthesia are more likely to develop learning disabilities The issue has troubled pediatric anesthesiologists and parents for well over a decade, after research on animals suggested that there was a connection. Do the drugs that make it possible to perform vital surgical procedures without pain cause lasting damage to the developing human brain? Several large studies have found ways to tease out the effects of actual surgeries and anesthetic exposures on children. ... Dr. Andrew Davidson, a professor in the department of anesthesia at the Royal Children’s Hospital of Melbourne and one of the two lead investigators on the trial, said that this prospective, randomized design allows researchers to avoid many confounding factors that have complicated previous studies, and answer a very specific question.

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