The most cynical surgeons like to say that anesthesiology is ninety-nine percent boredom and one-percent sheer terror. Strange Daze is about the one percent.
The “one percent” can occur with any type of anesthesia, not just general anesthesia, which brings us to today’s episode: “On Pins and Needles.”
Spinal anesthesia is still a popular alternative to general technique for certain types of surgery, but every anesthetic technique has its limitations, including spinal anesthesia.
In today’s episode, our narrator learns the limitations of spinal anesthesia in his first year of anesthesia residency when assigned to the orthopedic “total joint” room.
In the hands of a master, spinal anesthesia is a beautiful and elegant alternative to general anesthesia. In the hands of an inexperienced anesthesia resident, spinal anesthesia can suddenly and unexpectedly devolve into the “one percent”.
You may be wondering how spinal anesthesia can go so wrong. Truth be told, in about a million and a half different ways… Tune in and you’ll find out how…