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Symptoms & Preventive Measures Of Over Dose Of Local Anesthesia

By Expert Author: Dr. Andrew Snell

In the field of medical history, there have been many such inventions that have changed the way we view medicine and medical procedures. From a key-hole surgery to an open heart surgery, every medical procedure has evolved over time to cater to thousands of patients around the globe. One of the things that havenít really changed for decades is the use of anesthesia in medical procedures. We are not new to this concept. Remember your dentist who pricked you with a needle before extracting that tooth. Yes, that is one of the many types of anesthesia available and in use in the medical industry. The main purpose of using anesthesia is to numb the portion that needs to be operated on. This helps in reducing pain considerably, which makes even the most painful of medical procedures a bit more bearable. Basically, there are three main types of anesthesia: General, Regional and Local. The type of anesthesia to be used depends on the medical procedure to be performed. However, it is always good to remember that like any other medical procedure, there is a need for caution while handling any of the three types of anesthetics. This is more important in regards to the administration of Local Anesthesia. The reason being, that Local Anesthesia is mostly administered by a doctor or a nurse whereas the other two types require specialized experts who are also called anesthetists. In this article, we are going to discuss one of the complications that could arise due to improper administration of Local Anesthesia and what can be done to prevent it.

Anesthetic Toxicity due to Over Dose:

This is one of the most common errors that can occur while administering Local anesthesia and may lead to Anesthetic Toxicity. This occurs when the level of anesthetic in the blood is very high. This may occur as a result of an intravascular injection or repeated injections. An overdose of Local Anesthesia may cause the following symptoms:

1. Depression of the Central Nervous System

2. Dizziness

3. Anxiety

4. Drowsiness

5. Circumoral Numbness or Tingling

6. Increased Heart Rate and Blood Pressure
7. Unconsciousness and Respiratory Arrest

8. Cardiac Arrest

Preventive Measures:

1. Follow proper technique while administering Anesthetic.

2. Doctors or Clinicians should be aware of the maximum dosage to be given based on the weight of the patient.

3. After administration, the patientís condition needs to be monitored in order to detect early symptoms of possible toxicity.

Other complications related with Local Anesthesia include allergic reactions, infections, paresthesia, and complications due to temporary nerve block like facial paralysis. Most complications will disappear as the affect of the anesthetic agent is neutralized.

Local Anesthesia has been used in medical procedures for quite some time now. As we discussed, there are a few things that demands caution. However, with proper technique, knowledge and a skilled pair of hands, anesthesia is truly one of the marvelous inventions of medical science.

About the Author:

Dr. Andrew Snell is an anesthesia specialist in New Zealand. He MB ChB, FANZCA, was a fellow in Cardiothoracic Anaesthesia at Papworth Hospital, Cambridge (UK). Dr. Andrew Snell had been employed by Bathurst Health Services as a locum consultant anaesthetist at Bathurst Base Hospital.

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