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meet your anesthesiologist

Not only surgical interventions, also some diagnostic tests require anesthesia or sedation for the patient. A prior appointment with the anesthesiologist avoids risks.

Anesthesia: The importance of knowing your anesthesiologist


PHOTO EFE/Ulysses Ruiz Basurto

The use of anesthesia goes unnoticed on many occasions, especially when it comes to diagnostic tests, removing its importance in order to know the professional doctor who will take care of it.

Following this, and in front of the World Anesthesiology Day, on October 16, the Spanish Society of Anesthesiology, Reanimation and Pain Therapy (SEDAR)launches a campaign to sensitize and make the population aware of the importance of knowing their anesthesiologist.

“Where is my anesthesiologist? I want to meet him”is the motto that SEDAR has launched as a question that all patients should be asked before an intervention that requires anesthesia or sedation.

Invasive tests

During the course of invasive tests that require the use of anesthesia or sedation, such as endoscopiesthe radiological examinations…it is important that the doctor informs the patients of the risks they may involve.

Sedation must be done following strict safety principles. Thus, SEDAR points out that the anesthesiologist must be a different professional from the one who performs the diagnostic or invasive procedure.

In other words, he must be dedicated exclusively to sedating the patient and, at all times, monitoring his vital signs and ensuring his safety.

Medical anesthesia patients
Knowing the professional doctor who will be in charge of your anesthesia is important. EFE: Quique García

Sedation and anesthesia

The doctor Antonio Planas, general secretary of SEDAR and head of the Anesthesiology and Reanimation Service at the Hospital Universitari de la Princesa de Madrid, explains: “It is our responsibility, as a scientific society, to warn against the false belief that sedation is a very simple practice that anyone can do”.

According to society, the deep sedation and the general anesthesia they form a continuous process that both require the same safety conditions to guarantee effective results and no harm to the patient.

In the case of sedation with anesthetic agents, such as propofol or anesthetic gases, it is an act with potential serious complications.

However, the possible effects that these drugs can cause, such as cardiovascular and respiratory depression, are controlled by anesthesiologists.

Are anesthesia and sedation safe?

As indicated by SEDAR, mortality from anesthetic causes has been reduced to less than one death for every 100,000-150,000 anesthesiasin the 2020s.

The reduction in mortality responds to the creation of the medical specification of Anesthesiologywhich requires a minimum of 4 years of specific training in Anesthesiology and Reanimation Service.

Did you know that you have the right to know your anesthesiologist?

Tomás Cobo, anesthesiologist and president of the Collegiate Medical Organization (OMC)emphasizes the importance of patients getting to know their anesthesiologist and asking them about the details of the anesthetic procedures they will be using for these diagnostic or surgical tests they need.

On the other hand, according to the General Health Lawthat regulates patients’ rights, every patient has the right to know who the doctor is who will treat him and must be properly informed of all the risks and alternatives of the procedure, thus obtaining due informed consent.

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