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Friday, 29 Aug 2014 11:38 AM by Charlotte Libov
Asking questions and getting all relevant information before undergoing medical procedures are always best. Because something is standard for many does not mean it is standard for specific individuals. Age and other personal health factors matter.
“Sedation always holds risks, and Joan Rivers’ medical crisis highlights the fact that the dangers are greater for older patients, say experts… Although it is not known if sedation caused Rivers’ heart to stop, patients typically would be put under during such a procedure. For someone of Rivers’ age, the risks are higher than for younger patients, according to a top internist.”
During endoscopic throat procedures, a tube with instruments and a camera is typically inserted down the throat. Usually some type of sedation is used for the patient’s comfort, either “moderate” sedation in which the patient is awake but relaxed, or “deep” sedation, using a drug such as Propofol.
In either case, the medication is delivered intravenously, according to the American College of Gastroenterology.
It is not clear whether sedation is to blame for Rivers cardiac arrest, but the dangers of anesthesia should always be carefully assessed when an elderly person undergoes a medical procedure – even when it is considered minor, said Dr. Leavey.
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