Hinterland Green

Monday, January 3, 2011

Study: General Anesthesia More Like a Reversible Drug-Induced Coma than a Deep Sleep

So, you think going under general anesthesia is like going into a deep sleep? Well, a group of researchers from Weill Cornell Medical College in New York beg to differ. They found that general anesthesia is more like a reversible drug-induced coma and the findings could lead to better treatments for coma and even better anesthesia.
"General anesthesia is pharmacological coma, not sleep," said Dr. Nicholas Schiff of Weill Cornell Medical College in New York, who worked on the study with Dr. Emery Brown of Massachusetts General Hospital and Dr. Ralph Lydic of the University of Michigan. Their findings, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, represent a three-year exploration of the similarities and differences of sleep, anesthesia and coma.

They said while doctors and patients commonly describe general anesthesia as going to sleep, there are significant differences between the states, with only a bit of overlap between the deepest states of sleep and the very lightest phases of anesthesia.

While sleeping usually involves moving through a series of phases, in general anesthesia, patients are typically taken to a specific phase or state and kept there during the surgery. This phase most closely resembles a coma. Source:  Science Daily
So, it would seem that the late King of Pop, Michael Jackson, was doing more harm to his body when he used propofol as a method of getting a good night's sleep.
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