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Steep Bills Surprise Patients Who Go 'Out-of-Network'

Posted 2 days 7 hours ago by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Jan. 17, 2017 – Patients using specialists outside their health-plan network often receive surprise bills for services that cost far more than what Medicare considers a fair rate, a new study suggests. Most insurers use rates set by Medicare – the publicly funded insurance program for the elderly – as the benchmark for what they'll pay health care providers. But a look at 400,000 U.S. physicians' charges found many doctors bill their private-paying patients two, three, even six times more than what Medicare pays for the same services, the study revealed. The highest markups – four or more times greater than the Medicare rate – were for certain specialty services, including anesthesiology, interventional radiology, emergency medicine and pathology. Anesthesiologists had the highest markup, charging six times what Medicare considers a reasonable amount, the researchers ... Read more

Related support groups: Surgery, Sedation, Lidocaine, Anesthesia, Propofol, Ketamine, Xylocaine, Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease, Local Anesthesia, Cardiovascular Risk Reduction, Bupivacaine, Marcaine, Novocain, Septocaine, Diprivan, Nitrous Oxide, Procaine, Light Sedation, Light Anesthesia, Mepivacaine

'Don't Cut Yet, Doc, I Can Hear You'

Posted 20 Dec 2016 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Dec. 19, 2016 – Far fewer surgical patients become conscious while under general anesthesia than previously believed, researchers report. Of 260 patients examined on the operating table, less than 5 percent showed consciousness in response to stimuli, an international team of researchers found. The patients were tested before the start of surgery. None of them remembered being awake afterward. That rate is much lower than the 37 percent found in earlier studies, the researchers said. "Although we view such consciousness during surgery as an important issue, we urge caution in the interpretation of these results," said study leader Dr. Robert Sanders, from the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health. "We looked at a very brief 'snapshot' of the time patients spend under anesthesia. In addition, these patients likely had very different experiences from those ... Read more

Related support groups: Sedation, Anesthesia, Propofol, Ketamine, Diprivan, Nitrous Oxide, Light Anesthesia, Sevoflurane, Isoflurane, Halothane, Pentothal, Etomidate, Amidate, Thiopental, Fospropofol, Penthrane, Methohexital, Brevital Sodium, Propoven, Sojourn

FDA Issues Anesthesia Warning for Pregnant Women, Kids Under 3

Posted 14 Dec 2016 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 14, 2016 – Repeated or lengthy use – longer than three hours – of general anesthetic and sedation drugs may harm the developing brains of fetuses and children younger than 3 years old, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration warned Wednesday. After reviewing the latest published studies, the agency announced that these warnings need to be added to the labels of these drugs. The agency also issued a Drug Safety Communication to inform health care providers, parents and caregivers of the potential danger. "We recognize that in many cases these exposures may be medically necessary, and these new data regarding the potential harms must be carefully weighed against the risk of not performing a specific medical procedure," Dr. Janet Woodcock said in an agency news release. She is director of the FDA's Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. "Parents and caregivers are often ... Read more

Related support groups: Sedation, Anesthesia, Propofol, Ketamine, Vitamin/Mineral Supplementation during Pregnancy/Lactation, Diprivan, Nitrous Oxide, Light Sedation, Light Anesthesia, Isoflurane, Sevoflurane, Halothane, Etomidate, Pentothal, Thiopental, Amidate, Penthrane, Brevital Sodium, Labor and Delivery including Augmentation, Sojourn

FDA Medwatch Alert: General Anesthetic and Sedation Drugs: Drug Safety Communication - New Warnings for Young Children and Pregnant Women

Posted 14 Dec 2016 by Drugs.com

ISSUE: FDA is warning that repeated or lengthy use of general anesthetic and sedation drugs during surgeries or procedures in children younger than 3 years or in pregnant women during their third trimester may affect the development of children’s brains. Consistent with animal studies, recent human studies suggest that a single, relatively short exposure to general anesthetic and sedation drugs in infants or toddlers is unlikely to have negative effects on behavior or learning. However, further research is needed to fully characterize how early life anesthetic exposure affects children’s brain development. To better inform the public about this potential risk, FDA is requiring warnings to be added to the labels of general anesthetic and sedation drugs (see List of General Anesthetic and Sedation Drugs Affected by this Label Change). FDA will continue to monitor the use of these drugs in ... Read more

Related support groups: Ativan, Lorazepam, Sedation, Anesthesia, Propofol, Ketamine, Versed, Midazolam, Diprivan, Nembutal, Sevoflurane, Isoflurane, Halothane, Nembutal Sodium, Etomidate, Amidate, Pentobarbital, Desflurane, Suprane, Ultane

Anesthesia Safe for Infants, Toddlers, Study Says

Posted 7 Jun 2016 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, June 7, 2016 – General anesthesia doesn't seem to harm young children's mental development, new research concludes. "A number of animal studies have suggested that exposure to commonly used anesthetic agents in early development could lead to deficits in learning, memory, attention and other cognitive functions," said study author Dr. Lena Sun. She is a professor of pediatric anesthesiology and pediatrics at Columbia University Medical Center in New York City. "However, few clinical studies have adequately addressed whether this is also true in humans," Sun said in a Columbia news release. The new study findings are "good news for parents whose children need anesthesia for elective surgery or a diagnostic procedure," she added. Still, the study leaves some important questions unanswered, Sun said. "We need to take a closer look at the effect of anesthesia on cognitive function ... Read more

Related support groups: Lidocaine, Anesthesia, Propofol, Ketamine, Xylocaine, Local Anesthesia, Bupivacaine, Marcaine, Diprivan, Novocain, Septocaine, Nitrous Oxide, Procaine, Light Anesthesia, Light Sedation, Mepivacaine, Tetracaine, Isoflurane, Prilocaine, Sevoflurane

Anesthesia Complications Drop by Half, Study Finds

Posted 12 Oct 2014 by Drugs.com

SUNDAY, Oct. 12, 2014 – Anesthesia-related complications in the United States have fallen by more than half, while the overall death rate has remained the same, a new study indicates. Researchers analyzed data from more than 3.2 million cases of anesthesia use between 2010 and 2013, and found the rate of complications decreased from 11.8 percent to 4.8 percent. The most common minor complication was nausea and vomiting (nearly 36 percent) and the most common major complication was medication error (nearly 12 percent). "Our goal was to determine the nature and incidence of surgical complications at the national level and to identify their risk factors," study author Dr. Jeana Havidich, an associate professor of anesthesiology at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in New Hampshire, said in an ASA news release. "Previous studies examined adverse events for specific surgical procedures, ... Read more

Related support groups: Anesthesia, Propofol, Ketamine, Diprivan, Nitrous Oxide, Sevoflurane, Isoflurane, Halothane, Droperidol, Pentothal, Etomidate, Amidate, Thiopental, Ultane PEN, Lusedra, Ketalar, Methohexital, Brevital Sodium, Desflurane, Enflurane

Anesthesia Type May Affect Recovery From Hip Fracture Repair

Posted 24 Jun 2014 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, June 24, 2014 – Hip fracture surgery patients who are given regional anesthesia have a slightly lower risk of death and a slightly shorter hospital stay than those who receive general anesthesia, a new study shows. Regional anesthesia involves delivery of anesthesia directly to the affected part of the body without putting the patient "to sleep." Researchers analyzed data from nearly 57,000 patients over age 50 who had hip fracture surgery in New York State between 2004 and 2011. Of those patients, 28 percent had regional anesthesia and 72 percent had general anesthesia. The death rate after 30 days was 5.3 percent for regional anesthesia patients and 5.4 percent for general anesthesia patients, which is not statistically significant. The average length of hospital stay was six days for regional anesthesia patients and 6.3 days for general anesthesia patients. The findings ... Read more

Related support groups: Hip Replacement, Propofol, Ketamine, Diprivan, Nitrous Oxide, Isoflurane, Sevoflurane, Droperidol, Halothane, Pentothal, Etomidate, Thiopental, Amidate, Ultane PEN, Lusedra, Ketalar, Methoxyflurane, Brevital Sodium, Suprane, Fluothane

FDA Medwatch Alert: Etomidate Injection/Pfizer-Mylan: Recall - Presence of Particulate Matter and/or Illegible and Missing Lot Number and/or Expiry Date

Posted 20 Feb 2014 by Drugs.com

ISSUE: Agila Specialties notified medical care organizations of a nationwide recall to the hospital/user level of 10 lots of Etomidate Injection 2 mg/mL – 10 mL and 20 mL (See the firm Press Release for a list of affected lot numbers). All of the products bear a Pfizer label. Product was distributed Nationwide to distributors, retailers, hospitals, pharmacies, and/or clinics. The product was recalled due to the potential for small black particles, identified as paper shipper labels, to be present in individual vials; the potential for missing lot number and/or expiry date on the outer carton, and the potential for illegible/missing lot number and expiry on individual vials. Intravenous administration of particles may lead to impairment of microcirculation, phlebitis, infection, embolism and subsequent infarction. BACKGROUND: Etomidate is a hypnotic drug indicated for the induction of ge ... Read more

Related support groups: Anesthesia, Etomidate, Amidate

Study Questions Safety of Common Anesthesia Drug

Posted 17 Dec 2013 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Dec. 17, 2013 – More concern about the safety of a common anesthetic has been raised in a new study. Patients who received the anesthesia drug etomidate during surgery might be at increased risk for cardiovascular problems or death, according to the study, which was published in the December issue of the journal Anesthesia & Analgesia. An accompanying editorial in the journal said the findings add to growing concerns about the use of the drug. The study compared about 2,100 patients who received etomidate and about 5,200 patients who received another intravenous anesthetic called propofol. All of the patients in the study underwent surgery that didn't involve the heart. Compared to those who received propofol, patients who received etomidate had a significantly higher risk of death within 30 days after surgery, according to a journal news release. The risk was 6.5 percent in ... Read more

Related support groups: Anesthesia, Etomidate, Amidate

Type of Surgical Anesthesia Might Influence Prostate Cancer's Return

Posted 17 Dec 2013 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Dec. 17, 2013 – For men having prostate cancer surgery, the type of anesthesia doctors use might make a difference in the odds of the cancer returning, a new study suggests. Researchers found that of nearly 3,300 men who underwent prostate cancer surgery, those who were given both general and regional anesthesia had a lower risk of seeing their cancer progress than men who received only general anesthesia. Over a period of 15 years, about 5 percent of men given only general anesthesia had their cancer recur in their bones or other sites, the researchers said. That compared with 3 percent of men who also received regional anesthesia, which typically meant a spinal injection of the painkiller morphine, plus a numbing agent. None of that, however, proves that anesthesia choices directly affect a prostate cancer patient's prognosis. "We can't conclude from this that it's ... Read more

Related support groups: Prostate Cancer, Propofol, Ketamine, Diprivan, Nitrous Oxide, Sevoflurane, Isoflurane, Halothane, Droperidol, Pentothal, Etomidate, Amidate, Thiopental, Ultane PEN, Lusedra, Ketalar, Methohexital, Brevital Sodium, Desflurane, Enflurane

General Anesthesia Not Linked to Raised Risk for Dementia

Posted 1 May 2013 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, May 1 – Despite previous concerns, older people who receive general anesthesia are not at greater risk of developing long-term dementia or Alzheimer's disease, a new study says. The study, by researchers from the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., involved 900 patients over the age of 45 who had dementia, a disease that affects brain functions such as memory, language, problem-solving and attention. All of the participants were residents of Olmsted County, Minn., from 1985 to 1994. These patients were compared to other people of similar ages living in the area who did not develop dementia during that time frame. About 70 percent of the study participants in both groups underwent surgery that required general anesthesia. Among patients who had already been diagnosed with dementia, there were no signs that their symptoms got worse due to receiving general anesthesia. Among those ... Read more

Related support groups: Dementia, Propofol, Ketamine, Diprivan, Nitrous Oxide, Sevoflurane, Isoflurane, Halothane, Droperidol, Pentothal, Etomidate, Amidate, Thiopental, Ultane PEN, Lusedra, Ketalar, Methohexital, Brevital Sodium, Desflurane, Enflurane

More Health Care Professionals Abusing Anesthesia Drug: Study

Posted 26 Mar 2013 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, March 26 – Abuse of the anesthesia drug propofol by health care professionals is a growing problem, a new study says. Propofol (Diprivan) is used to put patients to sleep for surgery and to sedate them for other procedures. It is widely used because it takes effect rapidly and offers patients a quick recovery time, with fewer side effects than other anesthetics. It was among the mix of drugs that contributed to singer Michael Jackson's death in 2009, the Los Angeles County coroner concluded. Researchers analyzed data from an addiction center specializing in substance abuse problems among health care professionals and identified 22 health care workers who were treated for propofol abuse between 1990 and 2010. During that period, there was a steady increase in the number of health care professionals treated for propofol abuse, which currently accounts for 1.6 percent of all ... Read more

Related support groups: Propofol, Ketamine, Substance Abuse, Diprivan, Nitrous Oxide, Sevoflurane, Isoflurane, Halothane, Droperidol, Pentothal, Etomidate, Amidate, Thiopental, Ultane PEN, Lusedra, Ketalar, Methohexital, Brevital Sodium, Desflurane, Enflurane

Accidental Awareness During Anesthesia Is Rare, Study Finds

Posted 12 Mar 2013 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, March 12 – Very few surgical patients experience accidental awareness while under general anesthesia, according to a new study. The Royal College of Anaesthetists and the Association of Anaesthetists of Great Britain and Ireland surveyed all senior anesthetists at National Health Service hospitals in the United Kingdom, asking them how many cases of accidental awareness during general anesthesia they encountered in 2011. Previous research has suggested a high rate of accidental awareness, occurring in about one in 500 patients. But this study found that the rate was one in 15,000. The researchers also found that only about 2 percent of anesthetists routinely use brain-monitoring equipment to keep tabs on patients during surgery. The findings, published in the journals Anesthesia and The British Journal of Anaesthesia, appeared online March 12. "Anesthesia is a medical ... Read more

Related support groups: Propofol, Ketamine, Diprivan, Nitrous Oxide, Isoflurane, Sevoflurane, Droperidol, Halothane, Pentothal, Etomidate, Thiopental, Amidate, Ultane PEN, Propoven, Ketalar, Methoxyflurane, Brevital Sodium, Suprane, Fluothane, Ultane

Secret of Anesthesia Revealed, Study Says

Posted 25 Oct 2012 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Oct. 25 – General anesthesia drugs really do put patients to sleep, suggests research conducted in mice. The study found that the drugs don't just turn wakefulness off, they also switch on important sleep circuits in the brain, according to the findings, which were published online Oct. 25 in the journal Current Biology. "Despite more than 160 years of continuous use in humans, we still do not understand how anesthetic drugs work to produce the state of general anesthesia," Dr. Max Kelz, an anesthesiologist at the University of Pennsylvania, said in a journal news release. "We show that a commonly used inhaled anesthetic drug directly causes sleep-promoting neurons to fire," Kelz said. "We believe that this result is not simply a coincidence. Rather, our view is that many general anesthetics work to cause unconsciousness in part by recruiting the brain's natural sleep ... Read more

Related support groups: Anesthesia, Propofol, Ketamine, Diprivan, Nitrous Oxide, Sevoflurane, Isoflurane, Halothane, Droperidol, Pentothal, Etomidate, Amidate, Thiopental, Ultane PEN, Lusedra, Ketalar, Methohexital, Brevital Sodium, Desflurane, Enflurane

Survival After General Anesthesia Vastly Improved: Study

Posted 20 Sep 2012 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Sept. 20 – The number of people who survive surgery when general anesthesia is used has improved dramatically over the past 50 years, Canadian researchers report. The improvement was noted worldwide, with most of the increases in survival seen in developed countries, the researchers added. Overall, there was a 90 percent drop in such deaths since before the 1970s. "Anesthesia safety continues to improve, and we should continue to find ways to make it even safer," said lead researcher Dr. Daniel Bainbridge, from the department of anesthesia and perioperative medicine at the University of Western Ontario. "We have done a good job to reduce risk of anesthesia," he said. "However, it is similar to the airline industry in that passengers tend to be very concerned about dying while flying, likewise they also are concerned about dying [while] under anesthesia, so the question is ... Read more

Related support groups: Anesthesia, Propofol, Ketamine, Diprivan, Nitrous Oxide, Sevoflurane, Isoflurane, Halothane, Droperidol, Pentothal, Etomidate, Amidate, Thiopental, Ultane PEN, Lusedra, Ketalar, Methohexital, Brevital Sodium, Desflurane, Enflurane

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