What Lyme patients need to know about general anesthesia
From American Association of Nurse Anesthetists:
An article in the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists (AANA)’s AANA Journal, “Lyme Disease and Anesthesia Considerations,” discusses possible effects of anesthesia on Lyme disease patients undergoing surgery.
Here are some important facts to know:
- In the pre-operative assessment interview, patients should let their anesthesia professional know if they have been in an area where there is a risk of contracting Lyme disease, such as hiking areas where ticks are present. Patients who know they have Lyme disease should discuss the choice of anesthetic with their anesthesia provider.
- General anesthesia may suppress the immune system. Volatile anesthetic agents may affect the functioning of white blood cells in combatting disease.
- Patients with “systemic infections” (those that affect the entire body) such as Lyme disease may need to be cautious with spinal or epidural anesthesia, as they may introduce infective agents into the central nervous system. This can be especially important in the early stages of the disease when there may not yet be signs of central nervous system involvement.
- Since 2005, 20,000-30,000 confirmed infections are reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention each year.
- Of the diseases required by law to be reported to government authorities, Lyme disease is the fifth most common nationally. Lyme disease is also the most commonly reported infection transferred from one living organism to another in the U.S.
Each disease or health condition has its considerations for anesthesia and surgery. Patients are encouraged to speak freely with their anesthesia provider to ensure that all health considerations are included in the anesthesia plan. Telling the anesthesia provider about allergies, health conditions, complementary or alternative drug use, prescription and illicit drug or alcohol misuse helps to keep the patient safe throughout surgery.
About the AANA Journal The AANA Journal is the official scholarly journal of the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists (AANA). The AANA Journal is available online to the public, free of charge, immediately upon publication of the print version, at www.aana.com/aanajournalonline.
- January 8, 2018 at 8:36 am
My child, with neuro Lyme, had an MRI under general anesthesia and had a major drop in body temperature. I was ‘assured’ that it was a faulty reading, however, the medical team increased the temperature settings for my child’s IV drip and electric blankets, and added extra coverings. Because there was no temperature drop? The measurements were removed from the medical record.
- January 10, 2018 at 6:09 am
I had what they think was a Malignant Hypothermia (MHT) reaction. I’d had surgeries before with no problem. I woke something like 3 days after surgery on a respirator, they had trouble weaning me off. They are not sure about the MHT because the test is a muscle biopsy done in only a few locations in the US and costs thousands of dollars for which insurance does not pay. Is there any known connection to Lyme and MHT?
- January 11, 2018 at 4:16 pm
I just had surgery and was so ill and in recovery for over 5 hours. That was over 2 weeks ago and I’m still so fatigued and ill. My temperature also dropped and they put me in a warming blanket. I was sedated and discussed my Lyme disease with all my doctors who knew or thought nothing about this disease. If I had said I had any other disease they would have taken precautions. DOCTORS NEED TO WAKE UP AND LEARN ABOUT LYME DISEASE!
- January 13, 2018 at 1:57 pm
I have Lyme disease it seems to have settled in my left shoulder. I can’t hold anything in my hand and my shoulder is getting stiffer. I’ve been treated with P.O. and IV antibiotics.
- January 13, 2018 at 5:57 pm
I don’t get the point, listed above where they say lyme disease is the most commonly reported infection that is transferred from one living organism to another. That statement alone sets off alarms..it has yet to be proven that lyme can not be sexual transmitted. If the lyme community was able to prove that, we would get a cure the same way HIV/AIDS did.
- January 14, 2018 at 7:12 am
I had severe steroid myopathy after an epidural two years ago and am wondering if it could have been activation of latent Lyme. Recently, I was on antibiotics for pneumonia and, for a brief time, I noticed that my mind was so much clearer! Would love to hear people’s thoughts. My brief window of clarity seems to be closing!
- January 14, 2018 at 2:31 pm
CAUTION: I’ve had Lyme since 1988. In 2010, I came very close to dying from sepsis secondary to gall stones that caused my gall bladder to die. The so-called doctors who were “caring” for me refused to consider the MRI that showed multiple stones, blaming my severe abdominal and back pain on a fall instead of just calling the surgeon. Why? Because my blood work did not show changes consistent with massive infection until I was about dead.
This had also happened in 2007 when I had surgery and had a bad infection. My bloodwork didn’t show the infection, so I had a really hard time convincing the doctor to do a culture, which proved that I did have an infection.
As for anesthesia, it causes personality changes to being really mean, along with amnesia.
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