How safe is anesthesia?

By Evrod Cassimy – bio | email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) – With any procedure involving anesthesia there is the risk that something could go wrong. Working to prevent a tragic outcome from someone under the medicine is the job of an anesthesiologist.

"A patient is never left unattended," said Doctor Jennifer Sheehan with the Stony Point Surgical Center. "Whether it's the anesthesiologist or a nurse anesthetist or someone trained in the care of delivering anesthesia, absolutely every second that patient is monitored closely."

Patients we spoke with at the VCU School of Dentistry were shocked to find out about the child who recently died after being given anesthesia. They however, have never felt unsafe with any procedures they've had done there.

"I've had lots of things done to me and you know I've got confidence and I feel I've come to good people and they do good work," said patient, John Harbison.

Dr. Sheehan has delivered anesthesia to numerous patients at Stony Point Surgical Center. She insists that safety is always important and the main reason for her job. The child who recently died shows how each situation should be handled differently.

"Every patient is different," said Dr. Sheehan. "Every procedure is different. It depends on the level of risk of a procedure and that often dictates the kind of anesthetic one would receive."

Sheehan still insists the risk of fatality is rare.

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