Saturday 29 April 2017

General anaesthetic 'can damage your brain'

Up to one-fifth of people develop hypoxia, or oxygen deficiency, after surgery, which can lead to symptoms such as wheezing, confusion, high blood pressure and even heart failure and death (Stock picture)
Up to one-fifth of people develop hypoxia, or oxygen deficiency, after surgery, which can lead to symptoms such as wheezing, confusion, high blood pressure and even heart failure and death (Stock picture)

Sarah Knapton

Surgical operations involving general anaesthetic may damage mental ability by starving the brain of oxygen, researchers fear, after conducting tests on climbers as they scaled Mount Everest.

Up to one-fifth of people develop hypoxia, or oxygen deficiency, after surgery, which can lead to symptoms such as wheezing, confusion, high blood pressure and even heart failure and death.

Research from City, University of London and University College London suggests the condition can also have a significant impact on brain function, with effects lasting at least 11 days after oxygen deprivation. The study monitored 198 climbers, and found significant cognitive decline.

Irish Independent

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