Anaesthesia is Causing More Deaths
Deaths caused by anaesthesia are increasing . A German study published in a medical journal states that more people are dying after operations because of anaesthesia than before. The reason for this is that, because of modern medicine, more and more older patients undergo operations.
More than 70 years ago, for every one million patients that were operated on, about 640 died during or shortly after an operation. By the end of the 1980s that rate was down to four per one million operations, thanks to modern medicine and new forms of anaesthesia. A recent study however shows that this rate is up again to seven anaesthesia-related deaths per one million operations.
The study states that, on average, patients who undergo operations have become older. Performing an operation, for example, on an eighty-year old is riskier than one on a twenty-year old. Anaesthesia can be especially risky if patients have heart problems or high blood pressure . In certain circumstances it can lead to death.
Anaesthesia during an operation
During an operation anaesthetists watch the patient’s breathing, heart rate and blood pressure. It is up to them to decide the amount of drugs that a patient should get. In rare situations a patient is allergic to certain anaesthetics . When complications due to anaesthesia arise , the whole operating team must react quickly to get the situation under control.
Methods of anaesthesia have changed over the ages . Ancient civilizations gave patients plants like poppy or alcohol to stop pain. In the 1800s laughing gas was discovered as a means of anaesthesia.
Modern anaesthesia uses a series of drugs during operations. First, doctors give patients a strong painkiller , then a drug that puts them to sleep. Finally, anaesthetists give them a drug that stops muscle movement .
Although medicine is constantly making progress and new and better aesthetic drugs are being discovered , operations under full anaesthesia remain risky. In such cases communication among the whole operating team is necessary .
- age = period in history
- although = while
- amount = how much
- anaesthesia = when you are not able to feel pain
- anaesthesia-related = because of anaesthesia
- anaesthetic = a drug that stops you feeling pain
- anaesthetist = the doctor who is in charge of anaesthesia during an operation
- ancient = old
- arise = come up
- blood pressure = the power with which blood moves through your body
- cause = the reason for something
- certain = special
- circumstance = condition, situation
- complication = problem
- constantly = always
- decide = choose
- discover = to find for the first time
- drug = a medicine
- due to = because of
- especially = above all
- heart rate = the number of times your heart beats every minute
- however = but
- increase = to go up
- laughing gas = a gas that is sometimes used to stop pain
- means = way, method
- medical journal = a magazine that is about medicine and health
- movement = moving
- necessary = needed, important
- on average = normally
- painkiller = a medicine that reduces pain
- patient = someone who is in a hospital because of an illness
- perform = carry out
- poppy = a plant that has red flowers and small black seeds
- rare = not very often
- rate = number
- recent = a short time ago, lately
- remain = stay
- series = a number of, many
- state = to say clearly what you think
- study = a piece of work that is done to find out more about a topic
- undergo =go through