Colin McEnroe Show: Anesthesiology 101

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UConn medical students at the Horace Wells grave site at Cedar Hill Cemetery in Wethersfield, CT.
Photo:Courtesy of Jeffrey Gross.
Dr. Jeffrey Gross
Photo:Chion Wolf
Colin McEnroe Show: Anesthesiology 101
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Colin McEnroe Show: Anesthesiology 101

Whether it's 30 minutes of 24 hours, time under anesthesia is time you'll never get back. Anesthesia finds the light switch of the brain and flicks it off. We're not conscious, we don't feel pain, we don't remember ad we don't move. Even now, 165 years into the age of anesthesia, we know what works but we don't know exactly how. Consciousness is a mystery, so there's no exact road map for his induced and carefully controlled state of unconsciousness is.

Today, we'll look at the modern practice of anesthesia and then move backwards into its history. You'll here about an ambitious anesthesia museum in Illinois, and we'll talk about the tragic life of one of the pioneer of the practice -- Horace Wells, a 19th century Hartford dentist whose statue stands in Bushnell Park.

Leave your comments below, e-mail colin@wnpr.org or Tweet us @wnprcolin.


  

Comments

I've always been afraid of

I've always been afraid of anesthesia that's why I postponed my leg surgery as much as I could. It was unavoidable so I had to have it at some point. Apparently it's not anesthesia I should have worried about, I got an implant on my hip and right after that I found out that it's being recalled. Now I am in the middle of a depuy hip recall lawsuit, they put me through a second surgery, there was no other way.

anesthesia show: Horace Wells

Enjoyed the program and especially the material on Horace Wells. Another interesting sidelight is that the story of Dr. Jekkyll and Mr. Hyde may have been from inspiration that R L Stevenson got from Horace Wells' tragic story.
Anesthesia and dentistry have long been interconnected and remains a vital part of our practice.
Stuart Lieblich DMD, Past President, American Dental Society of Anesthesiology. (member Horace Wells Society of Hartford)
private practice, Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Avon CT.

EMAIL FROM GAIL:

My 49 year old husband had heart surgery this year and emerged with "positional alopecia" how common is this? No one could tell us if this was caused by the anesthesia or not, any comments?

EMAIL FROM BRIAN:

Not that I have experienced this myself, but I remember reading that sexual dreams or hallucinations are not uncommon while being put under.....

EMAIL FROM WAYNE:

I have a happy story about waking up during anesthesia.

I am a pathologist. When a surgeon takes something out of you they sent it to us pathologists. We look at it, first with eyes and then with a microscope, determine what it is and relay that information to the clinical doctors so they can determine how to take care of you.

I was, like you, having a double barrel endoscopy. During the procedure I desated, that is ran low on oxygen. This was diagnosed by the aforementioned pulse-oxymitor and they backed off on the propofol and I woke up.

I could see the television and saw my own polyp. My pathologist brain went to work, “Polyp, on good stalk, 1.5 centimeters smooth surface should be benign”

I no sooner got three quarters of the word benign thought out when I went back to sleep.

I told my doc the story after things were over and 4 days later I got the pathology report and low and behold I was right.

I am on hold waiting for you. If I get on air ignore this e-mail.