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Potential poor reactions or side effects of anesthesia

At some point in the life of a Iowa resident, surgery or procedures that require anesthesia might be necessary. While licensed anesthesiologists know what they're doing and hospitals take care to ensure that patients are being dosed properly, mistakes may still be made, or issues may arise that hadn't been predicted before the procedure.

Some people, for example, can have adverse reactions to anesthesia that they aren't made aware of until the anesthesia has been administered. The World Allergy Organization lists allergic reactions ranging from mild rashes, itching, or hives all the way up to anaphylactic shock. In severe cases, damage to the cardiovascular system could occur. The patient may also struggle with breathing due to swelling of the throat.

There are also a few side effects that are considered uncommon, but still occur. The American Society of Anesthesiologists have stated that these side effects to anesthesia can range from mild irritants to potentially life threatening ailments, such as malignant hyperthermia, which includes muscle contractions and a fever that develops rapidly. People may also experience extended bouts of delirium or cognitive dysfunction which may last up to a week. Those with preexisting conditions like lung disease, Parkinson's disease, or Alzheimer's disease may experience long-term issues with concentration, memory loss, and learning capabilities.

Anesthesiologists will always work with patients who know they have sensitivities or allergies to get them the best care possible, but it can still be scary to go in for a first surgery without being sure of what reactions might occur. Providing detailed medical history may help providers predict any issue that the patient is at risk for, which could cut down on the possibility of these reactions occurring.

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