Marijuna and Anesthesia during a Endoscopy procedure?

April 1, 2010

There are two aspects that must be considered in this case. Smoking directly affects the airways, causing them to react to a larger extent than that of a non-smoker. As a result when anesthesia is administered, the airways respond adversely and this affects the supply of oxygen to the body during sleep. The second concern is with regard to the marijuana itself. Some drugs interfere with medications and reduce their effect. This interference may also increase the risk of side effects and as such doctors must always be informed about any drugs or medications that the patient is taking.

When it comes to administering anesthesia to smokers, anesthesiologists usually face two concerns. Firstly, the level of carbon monoxide in the hemoglobin of the blood increases on account of smoking. This reduces the supply of oxygen. Carbon monoxide also hampers the pumping of the heart. This results in a further reduction in the oxygen supply to the body. The other factor is that nicotine raises the body's requirement of oxygen. As such a poor oxygen supply coincides with an increased utilization of oxygen. It is also a known fact that smoking damages the lungs. There is an increase in the mucus secretion and a decrease in the lung's ability to clear the mucus. The smaller airways of the lungs also become narrow and face the risk of collapse. This increases the risk of chronic cough, infection and pulmonary problems. Many studies have shown that smoking raises the possibilities of pulmonary conditions in smokers after the administration of anesthesia.

General anesthetics tend to react with many other medications. Due to this, changes may occur in the effects of both drugs. This may pose an increased risk of side effects. Prior to any medical procedure that requires administration of an anesthetic; the individual must inform the doctor about the intake of any medications. This even includes prescription and non-prescription drugs. Discussing the matter with the doctor is especially important in case of street drugs as severe and possibly fatal effects could occur when these drugs interact with anesthetics. Anyone abusing street drugs such as phencyclidine, amphetamines, heroin, cocaine, barbiturates and marijuana must ensure that their doctor is aware of this before they go in for any medical procedure. Usually individuals are informed to discontinue the intake of certain medications one week to two weeks before the procedure, depending on the drug. There may be certain other preparations required before an endoscopy and these can be discussed with the health care provider in advance.

Submitted by M T on April 1, 2010 at 03:42

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