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death from anesthesia

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little turtle posted 4/26/2013 17:59 PM

This has been on my mind for a couple of weeks. I don't know who to talk to about it.

XH is having surgery in 2 weeks. The surgery is to clear out his nose, throat, etc. I think it's deviated septum surgery and something else. XH showed me 2 papers about the 2 procedures a couple of weeks ago. The surgery itself doesn't sound too life threatening.

However, I talked with XH more today and learned that 4 of his uncles and his grandfather (all on his Dad's side) have died while under anesthesia. I knew about 2 of them prior to today. I asked XH what the circumstances were - what types of procedures they were having done - and they were all having minor routine surgery. Except for his grandfather who was having something done with his heart. He died prior to the surgery starting, after he was cut open. XH's Dad refuses to have any anesthesia go in him. He'd rather die or take the pain of any procedures. I can't blame him.

I'm worried. XH hasn't told his doctor about this medical history. I know there's nothing I can do. Of course I fear the worst. XH laughs it out... "I think your name is still on my life insurance policy. You'll be fine." I'm worried for the kids. They are 5 and 6.5. It's one thing to help them through the divorce, but death?

Am I worried for no reason?

Lucky2HaveMe posted 4/26/2013 18:44 PM

I think you have every reason to be concerned, and he absolutely should share with his Dr & surgeon. Tell him you will be calling them to be sure they are aware. He needs to think beyond himself and protect his kids' dad.

JustDone posted 4/26/2013 18:47 PM

((((little turtle)))

Of course you're worried!

XH hasn't told his doctor about this medical history.

Why not??? Has he said? Is this urgent surgery? Can he do without it?

I know there's nothing I can do.

Yes, there is, you can call up his doctor and inform him of these facts. I know there is HIPPA stuff, but I'd go to the office, if necessary, and tell.


Nature_Girl posted 4/26/2013 18:51 PM

He absolutely needs to tell the doctor AND the anesthesiologist about this family history. Some people, and I'm one of them, don't react normally to anesthesia. I, too, am terrified to be put under due to the extreme physical reactions I've had from anesthesia in the past.

This needs to be made known to the doctors. There are additional precautions anesthesiologists can take to monitor patients who are under. They can also make sure NOT to have a student performing the anesthesia that day. Right?

little turtle posted 4/26/2013 19:58 PM

Why not???

He said there's nothing the doctor can do differently. I told him that he should tell his doctor anyway. Just so the doctor knows! I'm not in the medical field and I don't know what options are involved. Maybe part of XH wants to die? I don't know. He's always struggled internally with low self-esteem and hidden depression issues. People on SI have told me they think he's NPD.

Is this urgent surgery? Can he do without it?

From what I understand, it will help him with sinus problems. XH is always trying to swallow and pop his ears. His doctor said it's probably related to XH's nose being broken when he was a kid/teenager?. It might also be the cause of XH getting bronchitis every spring and fall. I don't know. I'm not really in the loop. The only reason XH told me is because the surgery is scheduled on Friday morning of his weekend. He doesn't know if he'll be able to take the kids that weekend. I don't think it's urgent or necessary, considering the risk, but it's not my decision.

I don't know the doctor. He didn't have a doctor when we were together.

UnexpectedSong posted 4/26/2013 21:03 PM

I think he shouldn't be taking the kids on a weekend that he has surgery.

thebighurt posted 4/26/2013 23:42 PM

He should absolutely tell the anesthesiologist about the issue. I've had the same issues as NG and told them about it before going under. The procedures and medicines they use now are quite different and there are things they can do. My results were great. But there's not much you can do but stress it to him. Good luck.

Kajem posted 4/27/2013 00:05 AM

If you know the surgery center - call them. They might not be able to discuss him with you...but you can discuss him with them. I have done this many times with my parents... it does work.



circe posted 4/27/2013 07:34 AM

Yes, he needs to tell his regular doctor and have it put in his medical file! The surgeon and anesthesiologist will ask him for any information they need to know to find an alternative anesthesia if necessary. This is not common, but not unheard of by any means!!

My xH's brother died during an appendectomy when he was 11, it was horrible and tragic and xH's family in their grief and need to understand why looked more into catastrophic reactions to anesthesia and I remember hearing so many stories when xH and I were dating and first married and would visit his family- it had just happened a few years before at that point, and they were constantly sharing stories of others with similar reactions, and any warning signs, and alternatives to the type of anesthesia his poor brother had been given. The family was justifiably terrified for any of them to be put under. And I know they arrived at several alternatives with their doctors, though I no longer know any details. But I know there are some alternatives in some types of surgery!!

Yes he should talk to his doctors and inform them, and not presuppose that there's nothing to be done about it. I still get a clutch in my stomach thinking about this subject after getting to know xH's stepmother and seeing her pain.

TrustedHer posted 4/27/2013 11:53 AM

I hate to be morbid, but if worse comes to worst, you'll kick yourself if you don't ask him:

Does he have life insurance, for his kids' sake? Is it paid up?

little turtle posted 4/27/2013 19:17 PM

Yes, he has life insurance through work. He said he thinks it's still in my name. He never changed it after we divorced.

Mrs Panda posted 4/28/2013 05:10 AM

There are a few rare conditions which prevent normal metabolism of some commonly used anesthesic agents. One would never know this unless there is a family history or the person has the reaction on the table.

*Look up "malignant hyperthermia."*

The anesthesliologist must be informed. If he actually has this, they can avoid the meds that trigger it. It is not enough to find out on game day, as it takes preparation.

[This message edited by Mrs Panda at 5:16 AM, April 28th (Sunday)]

JanetS posted 4/28/2013 09:53 AM

my mother too was told she could no longer have general anesthesia, but was told that there were alternatives.

She passed away in 2011 (not from surgery), so she did not have to face that again...but her last surgery almost caused her death, due to the anesthesia. This is not something to take lightly.

tushnurse posted 4/28/2013 11:58 AM

Malignant Hyperthermia is the most common death related to anesthesia, has nothing to do with other side effects of anesthesia like nausea, vomiting or slow to wake and low bp.


tushnurse posted 4/28/2013 12:03 PM

Sorry posting issues. As I was saying any CRNA or Anesthesiologist, worth a damn will ask the appropriate questions that would make it obvious there's a family history o this and thus avoid said meds that are related to it. You can still have anesthesia that is effective just a whole class of meds are excluded.

(((and hope all is well)))

little turtle posted 4/28/2013 15:30 PM

Well, hopefully the anesthesiologist will ask the questions to get the history prior to putting him out. It's unfortunate and sad to know 4 brothers and a father all died from this, and their deaths could have been prevented. I don't know if these men told their doctors about their family members. I would they that they did, but I have no idea, I never met any of them. Perhaps they did and alternative measures were used, and they still died?

little turtle posted 4/28/2013 20:44 PM

I brought this up with XH again tonight when he dropped the boys off. He was like, "you too?" and told me his mother is worried about him as well. I said, "yeah, I'm going to be worried until I get text from you after the surgery is done!" He told me that he'd rather find out his reaction to anesthesia now rather than when he's 60 with a heart problem. I told him that I read up about it (I wasn't gonna tell him I asked you guys ) and learned that it's not as simple as you get the drug or you don't. There are alternatives they can use. He then told me that it doesn't have any effect on me. Sigh.

Just prior to this conversation he was telling me that our boys *still* talk about how my SO's parent's dog died last summer. I think they bring it up with him often simply because his girlfriend has 2 dogs of the same breed as the one who died... and one has the same coloring. They rarely mention the dog's death to me - less than monthly. And when they do, we are at SO's parents' house.

Anyway, so I reminded XH of this... they haven't forgotten a dog, you think they are going to forget you???? It's going to effect me every day until I die. He then said that he shouldn't have told me about it. I let it go at that point. There isn't anything I can do. He knows what I think. I'm afraid he thinks the anesthesia won't have a negative affect on him and that his life is worth the risk in finding out.

JanetS posted 5/8/2013 21:23 PM

One of the benefits of SI is all of the good information I find here.

Yes, I knew my Mom had issues with antithesis...but nobody mentioned to me that it could be passed onto me.

So next Dr. appt. (who knows my mother's issues as she lived with me for the last 2 years of her life)..I'll ask him if this is something that should be on MY file....just in case of emergency. Can they test for it? I've had c-sections and hysterectomy, no problems. But, maybe as I age it might become an my mother didn't develop the problem till later in life.

And, if I am at risk I'll make sure my kids are also aware of this.

Thank you little turtle and others.

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