: Good article on OR doc's addicted to painkillers

11-20-06, 10:46 PM
Interesting article on MSN news.

This part I found VERY interesting. Should be an easy fix and an easy preventative to more addicted drug docs...we'll see in time, I guess...

Dr. Gold decided to take a close look at O.R. procedures and was immediately struck by the anesthesiologists' posture. They weren't standing upright or moving around, like everyone else involved in the operation, but spent the entire time crouched right next to the patient's head. Dr. Gold watched a heart operation and noticed that during the 10-hour procedure, the anesthesiologist never budged from his post, not even for a bathroom break.
Wait, he thought. What if the drugs are escaping from the patients' breath? The system for delivering drugs may be airtight, but how about the ventilation? Dr. Gold enlisted the University of Florida's nanotechnology group to use its mass spectronomy equipment to test for the presence of drugs above a patient's mouth. They scanned an O.R., and . . . jackpot! Sure enough, narcotics were detected not only in the air, but also on metal trays and tables--exactly the way vaporized gas would settle. "Fentanyl is extremely potent and active in the air--that's why the Russians used it to put everyone in the theater to sleep during the Chechen hostage crisis," Dr. Gold explains. "It's also easily absorbed through the skin."
This would explain why the best, most requested anesthesiologists are the most prone to addiction: They handle more cases and more of the long, multihour procedures, so they're more exposed to airborne drugs. It also explains why addicts tend to be in their early 30s and suffer such rampant recidivism: Fresh out of medical school and internships, they're inhaling narcotics for the first time, and when they return to work after rehab, they're unwittingly using again.

The rest of it I wasn't the least bit surprised about...but this I hadn't thought very much about...and I spend a whole helluva lot of my time reading about and researching drugs and such...career choice and all, eh.

11-20-06, 11:19 PM
Makes sense but I wouldn't have ever thought of that.

11-21-06, 08:36 AM
Damn, that kinda scary if you become addicted from doing your job!