The campaign also marks World Anaesthesia Day being observed on October 16.

With Bangalore reporting deaths owing to complications of anaesthesia in the last few months, city-based anaesthesiologists have taken up a campaign to allay apprehensions about the procedure among people. The campaign also marks World Anaesthesia Day being observed on October 16.

The city has over 1,200 anaesthetists and nearly 2 lakh surgeries are performed annually here. According to doctors, anaesthesia administration is safe, provided it is done by qualified doctors who follow the International Standards for a Safe Practice of Anaesthesia. Deaths during administration of anaesthesia are extremely rare but can occur when it concerns difficult airway and extremely sick patients, according to doctors.

Chidanand Swamy M.N., president of the Bangalore unit of the Indian Society of Anaesthesiologists, said the other causes for adverse outcomes include inadequate hospital and operation theatre infrastructure and comorbidities in the patient.

Although the risk of anaesthesia-related accidents is quite high, the percentage is low. It is very important for the anaesthetist to follow a checklist before the procedure and continuously monitor the heart rate, blood pressure and oxygen saturation during the procedure, he said.

“Anaesthesia practice is similar to flying a plane where stringent safety measures are adopted. Although the pilot is flying the plane for the 1,000th time, it is a must for him to follow a mandatory checklist before taking off,” Dr. Swamy explained.

Complications of anaesthesia are not common for all patients as they depend on the individual’s comorbidities and allergies.

“So, it is a must for patients to meet their anaesthetist before the procedure to know the risks involved. A pre-anaesthetic check-up is a must for all patients, even if they are undergoing a local anaesthetic procedure. The risk is explained to the patients and their families before surgery in the informed consent form,” he said.

‘Follow the advice’

Sriganesh K., associate professor in the Department of Neuroanaesthesia at NIMHANS, said it was important for the patient to strictly follow the anaesthetist’s advice on fasting.

“Not following this advice can put the patient at the risk of aspiration of the stomach contents into the lungs and result in an adverse outcome,” he explained.

“It is mandatory for the patient to adhere to all the instructions given by the anaesthetist. The patients should not hide any information about the past and present medical or surgical problems or allergies,” Dr. Sriganesh said.

Explaining the types of anaesthesia, he said any neurosurgery could be done only under general anaesthesia. Other surgeries could be done under local or regional anaesthesia. A major differentiating factor was that in general anaesthesia, the patient would be unconscious whereas in regional, it was not necessarily so, he added.

Office-bearers of the Bangalore unit of the Indian Society of Anaesthesiologists can be contacted on 09845190781 or 09481445949.