Lourdes Salvador's Column
...Co-founder of MCS America discusses the latest Multiple Chemical Sensitivity issues.
Lourdes Salvador is the founder of MCS America, a science writer, and a social advocate for the greater awareness of environmental contamination, human toxicology, and propagation of multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS) as a disorder of organic biological origin induced by toxic environmental insults.
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Xenon Gas Anesthesia May Be Suitable for Surgical Patients with Multiple Chemical SensitivityXenon Gas Anesthesia May Be Suitable for Surgical Patients with Multiple Chemical Sensitivity
by Lourdes Salvador
Surgical anesthesia raises many concerns over the safety of patients. Patients who are sensitive or allergic to various drugs and chemicals pose a special challenge to surgeons and anesthesiologists.
It is essential to ensure the use of an anesthetic that will not cause further harm to health for patients, especiailly those with conditions like multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS). It is best to avoid any medications which are metabolized via the liver due to the liver function variations seen in patients with MCS.
Stoppe & colleagues, a group of researchers faced with a patient with multiple chemical sensitivity scheduled for a laparoscopic gall bladder removal, report that xenon gas may be the best choice for general anesthesia in this group of patients because it acts independent of the patient´s metabolism.
Xenon gas was discovered in 1898 and is not likely to be involved in any biochemical events in the body. It is quick acting, eliminated completely via the lungs, and recovery is rapid. It is totally inert (non-toxic) and has not been associated with any allergic reactions.
Xenon is inhaled and acts on the N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor, producing unconsciousness in roughly 8 minutes. It is colorless, odorless, and tasteless.
The primary disadvantage to xenon gas is its ability to depress the respiratory system. Its central depression effects cause a decrease in respiratory rate that can progress to apnea (ceased breathing).
Xenon is extremely expensive, and this may be a consideration for both insurance and patient costs.
Despite its high cost, it appears to be a potentially suitable surgical anesthetic for patients with multiple chemical sensitivity.
Stoppe, C et al. Xenon anesthesia for laparoscopic cholecystectomy in a patient with multiple chemical sensitivity. Br. J. Anaesth. (2011) 107 (4): 645-647. doi: 10.1093/bja/aer285
For more articles on this topic, see: MCSA News.
Copyrighted 2011 Lourdes Salvador & MCS America
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