NOTES - Surgical Procedures :
Alternative medicines Problems before Surgery - - Posted by em.london (em.london), 26 September 2004
I have read this article and is concened as I take Herbal Medicines myself.
I Quote "Of the 500 patients surveyed, more than half consumed one or more types of alternative medicines during a two-week period before surgery. Garlic and cranberry represented the most common herbal substances consumed followed by echinacea, gingko and ginseng, respectively. The vitamins most frequently taken included vitamin C, multivitamins and vitamin E. The survey also indicates that 220 patients took 31 types of dietary supplements including calcium, fish oil, magnesium or zinc.
More popular with women than men, the study found that some alternative medicines can increase bleeding and prolong coagulation during surgery. Twenty-seven percent of patients surveyed consumed vitamins, herbs and supplements that could increase the time it takes for blood to clot. Alternative medicines that may prolong coagulation include alfalfa, chamomile, some Chinese herbs, garlic, ginko, kava, licorice, vitamin E and fish oil.
Fifty-eight patients or 12 percent of survey respondents took herbs that could adversely impact blood pressure levels during surgery. Black cohosh, used to treat menopause, menstrual cramps and osteoporosis, can lower a patient’s blood pressure. St. John’s Wort, used to control depression, can raise blood pressure as well as cause confusion, agitation and drowsiness in surgical patients.
The study also links some herbs to heart irregularities and others to electrolyte imbalance. Ephedra, an herb used to treat coughing, asthma and weight loss, can trigger arrhythmia and high blood pressure while licorice, used to control coughing and soothe sore throats, can raise the risk of hypokalemia, a potassium deficiency that can cause arrhythmia. Herbal diuretics, which increase urine output, also can deplete potassium levels and cause electrolyte imbalance. Sedative herbs, like kava, can cause severe drowsiness when combined with the hypnotic drugs used during surgery.
Carol Norred, a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA), researcher and PhD student at the UCHSC Department of Anesthesiology and School of Nursing, believes that more scientific research is needed to safely integrate CAM into the management of surgical patients. Norred, who spearheaded Use of Complementary and Alternative Medicines by Surgical Patients, believes an open dialogue between patients and providers can prevent complications related to the use of unconventional medicines.
"Most patients who take alternative medicines never tell their providers about it. This can compromise a patient’s safety if these medicines aggravate a health condition or interact poorly with the drugs used during surgery. As advocates of patient safety, we at the AANA advise patients to disclose information about CAM use prior to surgery," she says."
I have some questions please :
Does anyone take Herbal Medicines ?
Have you had problems in Surgery because of taking them ?
Thank You for any help. It is appreciated.
Posted by anasta5ia (anasta5ia), 27 September 2004
I know that with my hopital it is standard that you discontinue ALL supplements and alternative therapy medications at least 2 weeks prior to any type of surgery. On all the paperwork, it states that some vitamins and supplements can cause excessive bleeding and canaso slow healing.
The docs also ask you if you have taken any herbal products during your pre-op (at my hospital, your pre-op is usually a week prior to surgery) and if you have, your surgery is AUTOMATICALLY cancelled.
The nurses ask you repeatedly about this when you arrive for your surgery. They ask you so many times it borders right on the edge of annoying. I know it is to protect me though so I try not to get to pissy with them.
To me, there is no reason in the world good enough to risk bleeding during surgery. I had to have a transfusion during my tonsillectomy on New Years Eve and I always wonder if I had taken some of the herbal things that my parents are always pushing me to take if I would have bleed to death on the operating table.
Posted by em.london (em.london), 27 September 2004
Thank You Heather G
Even though I did take in a list of all that I take as well as my other illness when I had my Arthroscopy they didnt mention anything about the suppliments, Even the OS and Anaethetist didnt mention it !
I think I will stop them a few weeks before then I know that I will be ok.
Thanx for your reply, its appreciated.
Updated Thu Apr 29 2010