: Man misdiagnosed as a "vegetable"



Aron9000
11-29-09, 03:06 AM
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/europe/article6928353.ece

If its true, its simply astounding. What's really scary is how many people are fully conscious/self aware and are diagnosed as a "vegetable"

I've never really believed in the whole "vegetative state" theory anyways. I think that if somebody's brain is functioning well enough to keep them alive, there must be some level of thought/reason trapped deep inside that person. All of it reminds me of "One" by Metallica, the lyrics are haunting.

YouTube- Metallica - One

Rolex
11-29-09, 11:08 AM
I have cared for patients with locked-in syndrome. They were only able to communicate by blinking, and family members seemed to be able to hold entire conversations with them (albeit with blinking for yes and no answers). I can't imagine a more helpless way to go through life. Literature says it's like being buried alive. People with true locked in syndrome who's eyes are also paralyzed are absolutely trapped.

Locked-In Syndrome - click me (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Locked-in_syndrome)

Stingroo
11-29-09, 02:57 PM
I love that song, one of my favorites.

But yeah, that's pretty scary. Imagine being trapped like that for that long... Ridiculous.

creeker
11-29-09, 03:54 PM
There was a show on t.v. show awhile ago (larry king) where people who have undergone surgery are fully aware of what is going on around them and also feel the pain and full intensity of the operation while it is being
performed,they can not relay their awareness to the surgeon, I dont know what this condition is called, it is also not that uncommon.

Rolex
11-29-09, 07:50 PM
There was a show on t.v. show awhile ago (larry king) where people who have undergone surgery are fully aware of what is going on around them and also feel the pain and full intensity of the operation while it is being
performed,they can not relay their awareness to the surgeon, I dont know what this condition is called, it is also not that uncommon.

It's not a "condition" and it's called surgical awareness or anesthesia awareness.

You will have to be more clear what you mean by "not that uncommon." Last I read, statistically it occurs in one-tenth of one percent of surgical cases. That's pretty damn uncommon IMO.

There are known procedures where awareness occurs more frequently: open heart surgeries, ESWL procedures, and trauma surgery among others. In other cases like pregnant mothers undergoing general anesthesia for delivery, the mother is typically given a "light anesthetic" in the interest of the baby. The same anesthetics that put mama to sleep will also put the baby to sleep, and generally everybody prefers not to have a baby on a ventilator when they're delivered. Also if a person isn't stable enough to tolerate anesthesia they may receive a light anesthetic in the interest of keeping them alive.

There are of course cases of negligent anesthesia providers or equipment malfunction that will result in awareness. That makes it important to check your equipment each morning and keep your head out of your arse during a case.

More often then not, most cases of awareness are from misinformed or confused patients. I get this kind of thing a lot from patients who confess they had awareness during a colonoscopy or other diagnostic procedure. It gets old trying to educate them that such awareness isn't a complication of general anesthesia, because you don't receive general anesthesia for most diagnostic procedures.

With careful questioning about the circumstances regarding awareness you'll find most are cases of patients remembering things in the post anesthesia care unit, intensive care unit, or they've recalled voices and noises during a procedure where they were only given a mild->moderate sedative, and not general anesthesia. Part of my job is providing sedation for procedures like EGD, colonoscopy, cardiac cath procedures, etc. I take the time before hand to remind people they are not receiving GA and they may well recall voices or sounds during the procedure. I also remind them as long as they're not in pain, recalling events during these procedures is not important and not a complication.

dkozloski
11-29-09, 08:22 PM
It's kind of neat being aware of what's going on when the docs are probing around in your innards. It's even neater to be conversing with them.

creeker
11-29-09, 09:06 PM
I was just relaying what I thought was an interesting show, I was also talking about people that went through tremendous pain while being operated on and not being capable of stopping the operation,
I wasn't talking about people undergoing non surgical procedures that did not require "cutting".

Rolex
11-29-09, 10:24 PM
I was just relaying what I thought was an interesting show, I was also talking about people that went through tremendous pain while being operated on and not being capable of stopping the operation,
I wasn't talking about people undergoing non surgical procedures that did not require "cutting".

I'm well aware of what you're posting about. I don't think you understand what I wrote, which is fine. Maybe I wasn't clear.

The phenomena is called anesthesia awareness or surgical awareness. Occurs at a rate of 0.1% of all surgical cases.....even the kind where you cut. FYI, people undergo surgeries and procedures where they receive general anesthesia and never get "cut." Awareness still applies to them. ;)


eta: none of the above has anything to do with people with locked-in syndrome being misdiagnosed. :)

westons
11-29-09, 11:16 PM
It's kind of neat being aware of what's going on when the docs are probing around in your innards. It's even neater to be conversing with them.


umm weird??