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Patient Story: To Sleep or not to Sleep?
Ron, the Chief Executive Officer of a prominent health care organization prepared for his operation by having a long discussion with his surgeon. He was especially hopeful to avoid a total anesthetic because he did not want to suffer from the after effects and really needed a shorter recovery time to speed up his return to work. The surgeon agreed that in his case it was possible to use a strong local anesthetic only, and Ron was under the impression that this was documented in his chart.
However, on the day of surgery, the anesthetist prepared him for a total anesthetic saying that it was the usual procedure in this kind of case. Ron said that he had discussed it with his surgeon and they had agreed to do the surgery under a local anesthetic. The anesthetist agreed that this was possible, but that because he had not had that instruction, unfortunately he would have to give him a total anesthetic. Ron replied, somewhat irritated that that he did not want it and would not accept a total anesthetic. He insisted on a local anesthetic.
“I will have to talk to the surgeon,” threatened the anesthetist.
“Please do,” replied Ron. “I will simply not allow you to proceed with a total anesthetic.
Under the circumstance this was quite an effort but finally the anesthetist agreed and gave him a local anesthetic.
Ron found this a particularly difficult event and is sure that almost anyone else in these circumstances would have submitted to the anesthetist.
(Names have been changed to maintain the anonymity of the storyteller).
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