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What was good/bad about your anaesthetic?

(59 Posts)
TheBigWhiteSyringe Wed 26-Mar-14 22:08:40

I work in the area of anaesthesia in a busy city hospital. Im always looking to improve my practice and bedside manner.
Unfortunately I rarely get the chance to follow up on patients and receive feedback on how they found their time in theatre.
Would you mind telling me what was good/bad about your anaesthetics or any suggestions you might have? Im hoping this will help me treat patients more effectively.

The rules on social media are pretty strict so in order to protect myself I've had to name change. I also may not be able to answer questions specifically relating to your care or treatment. But if I can answer I will.

Thanks in advance

FiaGrace Wed 26-Mar-14 22:26:34

The worst thing is waking up with a horrendous sore throat. I've had some pretty major ops but the thing which stands out and which I never really understood (until the last op when I actually jut asked about it) is why you end up with such a sore throat afterwards?

I assumed that it was standard but now that I understand more about the procedure used to put you under (and how the techniques/time taken seems to differ depending on the op), I always mention it beforehand.

Actually, do you know what, screw the above, it is/was an issue but having had an operation where the local anaesthetic was not administered correctly and thus didn't work (and I felt everything), the sore throat issue pales in to insignificance!

I must say that generally, the more info the anaesthetist can give me, the better so, having a little chat beforehand and being able to express my concerns really does help.

FabULouse Wed 26-Mar-14 22:27:10

If you want to research the nature of your patients' experiences ethically and meaningfully, you'd need to design a study format which meets ethics committee approval; particularly as you're asking people to recall experiences which may have been cloaked in anxieties and distress. Not just because many people have specific fears about anaesthesia (awareness and failing to wake being the usual two), but because many people require surgery for issues that are difficult to accept and often lead to altered body image, even if the end result is 'only' a small neat appendicectomy scar.

It's lovely that you're seeking feedback in order to better understand the patients' experience and find out what helps and what to avoid, but professionally I'd suggest this isn't the appropriate means to the desired end.

Just my thoughts.

Best wishes
A senior theatre practitioner

ElectronicDischarge Wed 26-Mar-14 22:33:26

My anaesthetist was wonderful. I'm a medical person and she went through exactly why my last GA sucked and what alterations would be made to my medication this time.
However she went too far and I didn't receive enough pain meds and when I woke up from my GA in theatre, I instantly burst into tears and started shaking due to the pain. It took 2 hours on oxygen and assorted drugs to stabilise me enough for a ward. On reading my notes when I was back on the ward, my vitals had dropped to ICU levels during my surgery, but no one told me.
Feel free to message me if you want.

ThatBloodyWoman Wed 26-Mar-14 22:34:21

I have always had amazingly good experiences with anaesthesia,apart from when I have dental work.
It took years for someone to finally acknowledge that dental anaesthesia is not very effective for me.

TheBigWhiteSyringe Wed 26-Mar-14 22:37:08

Thank you FabU. This is something I am pursing through official channels. In the mean time I just wanted to check I'm not missing something blindingly obvious!
Had the unsettling experience of being a patient myself in my trust. It was an eye opener to say the least!

Deux Wed 26-Mar-14 22:49:09

I had a great anaesthesia (sorry about spelling) experience. To such an extent that i don't remember anything bad about it, the recovery etc.

As i was in the ante-room place, hooked up to the monitors, the anaesthetist was talking me through what he would do.

Before he put the drugs in the IV, he asked me where the most beautiful place in the world was i had been. I told him - it was a beach. He then asked me to close my eyes and describe it to him, what i could see, hear etc.

OMG, OMG, what a trip. I spent the whole of the operation on a rudimentary sunlounger in an isolated cove on Zanzibar. It was really relaxing. I was also given acupuncture whilst in the ante-room. Amazing experience.

ChestyNut Thu 27-Mar-14 19:03:35

My experience may be different as am a HCP too.

I would have like more information about what to expect when waking aneasthetic wise, how I'd feel.

I had the pleasure to be treated by the most wonderful anaesthetist. She was extremely thorough and listened to me and my previous experiences.
I was pain free and totally relaxed post OP.

My worst experience was dental sedation as an Inpatient.
No one warned me of the burning torture of Propofol.
My last memories where crying for them to please stop as it hurt so much.
They didn't angry

I'm very apprehensive re some surgery I have to have in near future as kind of lost trust sad

TheBigWhiteSyringe Fri 28-Mar-14 11:40:43

Thank you for your replies, I really do appreciate them.

One thing that is repeatedly being flagged up (from other sources also) is the sore throat issue. Up until now, it hasn't been anything I've given much thought. Usually just reassured patients in recovery who have complained about it that it is very common and will disappear in a few hours. But it appears to be a more common complaint then I realised and can often be avoided. So thank you for raising that.

I've always wondered about the level of information given to patients (above the legal requirements needed for informed consent). The general trend seems to be the more information the better. I know this is a very subjective issue and some patients would prefer to know nothing at all. It has given me some ideas though that I'm looking forward to discussing with my colleagues.

I'm pleased to hear so many positive stories regarding anaesthesia (again, other sources included) It's definitely encouraging (and bloody refreshing after regular bashings by the daily fail mail) Will definitely try to keep up the good work!

What I know about dental I could write on the back of a stamp! Rarely do I hear anything positive about it. I have a good friend who is a dentist, so later this week I intend to barrage him with questions and get an education.

Deux the acupuncture sounds really interesting. Complementary therapy is something that has recently sparked my interest and I have a whole pile of journals here with articles on surgery with some form of complementary therapy. Not sure when I'll get chance to read them, but hopefully soon.

Thank you for taking the time to share your experiences with me.

ChestyNut Fri 28-Mar-14 12:27:04

I have read up following the experience and it seems that Propofol is known to be painful on injection?

Is it common practice to administer with Lidocaine to reduce pain?

Runwayqueen Sun 30-Mar-14 07:53:46

Just marking a place here. Am about to go to hospital now for an mrcp so will comment when I'm home

bonzo77 Sun 30-Mar-14 08:11:13

great anaesthetics have involved:
nice chat from the anaesthetist.
A warm air blanket in recovery.
kind staff in recovery

sub optimal ones...
the sore throat
lack of pre med. I get very nervous.
are you talking about the whole proceedure.... and spinals? The bitch who said I could chose between my BP and the pain in my hand. because the fucking canula was leaking. Why was my BP through the floor? Because she'd not listened about by previous experience (and read the notes from it) about the fact I've needed loads of extra fluids and "gel" to help with my BP last time. because she was wanted me far number that I'd been before, or than I needed to be (for a CS). She wanted me 100% numb. to everything, including pressure. I would have thought she knew the pathophysiology of pain, and that pressure and sharp pain are carried by different pathways, and the former are much slower to block. I'm a dentist, every time I take out a tooth I warn of the pressure sensation, and explain it. The same anaesthetist who bitched about the theatre staff as things were running late in front of me. The same consultant who let her registrar take an hour to place the spinal. I know now that there was blood everywhere and DH says the theatre staff were rather hmm about it. Jesus, I really should have complained.

Notice what I'm saying? It's the same all over health care. Patients just take it for granted that the treatment is technically safe and effective. Mine has been. It's the crappy bedside manner that causes the upset. And complaints.

ukatlast Sun 30-Mar-14 11:50:21

To cheer the OP up, I have always had good experiences with hospital GA and spinal anaesthesia for C-Section. Anaethetists are my favourite people basically especially during childbirth when all other specialties seem to think pain is the norm.
Good dental local anaesthesia cannot be done in a rush (yes rushed NHS dentists I am looking at you), go to a dentist who cares that you are 100% numb, tell them if you are not and all should be well.
There are advanced dental anaesthetic techniques and stronger versions of local that apparently not all dentists are in the habit of using when required. These dentists will tell you that teeth cannot always be numbed whereas apparently the truth is more like 'all teeth can be got numb but not all dentists can get all teeth numb'....yes even with infection although sometimes it is best to re-appoint.
Agree with Bonzo that hospital aftercare is very important though but it's not usually the anaethetist involved then. I had a very good day surgery experience after a miscarriage where my DH was allowed beside me upon wake-up and then we sat in the pretty day unit garden eating tea and toast before discharge...this was NHS honestly!

ukatlast Sun 30-Mar-14 11:57:17

Using EMLA cream on back of hand for children especially is good. Children's hospitals seem to do this routinely.

iklboo Sun 30-Mar-14 11:59:08

When I had to have my appendix out the anaesthetist came to talk to me before they took me into theatre, explained everything, talked to me through the whole process until I 'went under'. He was wonderful.

Same with my epidural, talked me through it, treated me like an actual person (different anaesthetist - I don't have a personal one!).

I am also friends with two 'gas docs'. Very, very funny blokes!

Runwayqueen Sun 30-Mar-14 17:33:24

I've had 3ga's, two in my older teens for teeth extraction and 1 last August for gallbladder removal.

For as long as I remember I've been frightened of injections/needles. I've had various therapies to try to reduce the fear. I also have poor veins (last emergency admission following post gallbladder op complications resulted in over 20 failed attempts to canulate).

In August when I met with the anaesthetist I asked if I could be put out with the gas as it's far less traumatic. The anaesthetist wouldn't listen to my fears and history, pretty much refused to consider it. It was only as a result of a conversation between myself and the surgeon that I was granted my wish of gas. There was no medical reason for me to not have it. I realise this is one person and I was probably unfortunate to come across her, but her dismissive attitude and the way she spoke to me was horrible at the time and made me feel more frightened than I needed to be.

The ga's that I had as a teen were pretty much a wrestling match between myself, mother, nurse and anaesthetist, 1 resulting in a standard ga, the other with gas. As an older teen I didn't feel I was listened to. It was 15 years ago so hopefully it's different now.

On all three occasions I woke up with the standard sore throat and sickness, however I expected this so it wasn't a problem. I realise some will think its pathetic that I am this way about injections/needles however most people I come across will work with me on this, just not this particular anaesthetist. I have a ERCP next week and I'm hopeful they will work with me.

I hope this helps. Please pm if you would like to talk further smile

iklboo Sun 30-Mar-14 17:50:57

I always wake up laughing hysterically as well. Which isn't good after an appendix op.

Bunbaker Sun 30-Mar-14 17:54:06

I felt very, very sick after the last GA. I wasn't actually sick, but I didn't feel better until after breakfast the next day.

somuchtosortout Sun 30-Mar-14 18:34:03

Hi. I've always had good experiences. However my mum claims she always gets sick for a few days after. She had an operation last week and was sick for three days, still feeling nauseous and hasn't eaten since...

somuchtosortout Sun 30-Mar-14 18:35:18

Sorry, meant to add, is that normal?

CMOTDibbler Sun 30-Mar-14 18:46:37

I had a series of surgeries following a life changing arm injury.
What I really appreciated was the anaesthetists who ensured that I was written up for antiemetics to be given later as I now start vomiting once the intra/peri operative ones have worn off (I do tell them about this, but some don't listen..). Waiting for the ward staff to sort out someone to write them up is not fun at all, esp as they never leave a vomit bowl even when asked (apart from the vvvvvv lovely nurse on one unit)

I also appreciated the nerve block performed on op 4 so that I didn't wake up in pain - a particular issue as I have CRPS, and had already had some v bad experiences.

A bad experience that did convert was on op3 where the veins in my good hand had all been blown, and people started trying to get veins in the anaesthetic room, inc my foot and it really hurt. The anaesthetist came in, took one look, and said 'lets sort that out when you are asleep' and got the gas on.

Bluestocking Sun 30-Mar-14 18:53:42

I've had several anaesthetics and all have been fine. The NHS is a marvel - I don't think we'll realise quite how amazing it is until it's been destroyed.

Good things? Someone to hold my hand when I went under - in the case of my first GA, I was very nervous and upset (having a termination) and the anaesthetist held my hand and maintained eye contact until I was out which was very comforting.
I've also had theatre nurses and technicians step in to hold my hand, always very much appreciated.
The nurse in the recovery room asking if I was in any pain when I came round and in the one case when I was, sorting it out straight away.

Bad things? In one case, I was giddy enough not to be able to stand up safely for 24 hours after the op. The surgeon and anaesthetist weren't sure why, as they hadn't used anything I hadn't had before, but they took my question seriously, were reassuring, and checked in on me.

ThoughSheBeButLittle Sun 30-Mar-14 19:08:08

The fentanyl :-)

TheBigWhiteSyringe Sat 05-Apr-14 21:16:36

Thank you for responding. I will be sending some of you some PMs shortly.
Sorry about the week of radio silence, I have had a gruelling week of nights/on call.
I really do appreciate every ones posts, it is so helpful.

I lived the Anaesthetist who I had for my first EMCS, though I was little freaked out by the ODP who slid his hands across my throat to apply cricoid pressure without warning me.

My second EMCS was originally going yo be an epidural but I watched the ODP tell the anaesthetist what to do twice and he was so so unsympathetic to my contractions that I decided to have a GA, reasoning that the ODP would keep me alive.

I'm due another GA soon for a craniotomy, I hope my anaesthetist is sympathetic and listens to me.

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