Sunday, August 31, 2014

Joan Rivers Sedated?

I got an email from a fellow Versed sufferer and she correctly says that there was only one news source that reports that Joan Rivers was "sedated" for her exam.  I have read many reports as well, and my friend is right.  Nobody else is saying anything at all about sedation.  I have read about general anesthesia which is overkill for this kind of exam.  I can't imagine medical personnel doing a general on an elderly lady for an endoscopy.  Too bad the news can't give us an actual REPORT on what happened to our beloved comedienne.  It might save somebody else the same fate.

I grabbed this quote from the NCBI page entitled "Laparoscopy and Endoscopy: Sedation, Analgesia, and Monitoring"

Agents Used for Sedation and Analgesia

Ideal drugs for endoscopic sedation have a rapid onset and short duration of action, maintain hemodynamic stability, and do not cause major side effects. Commonly used agents include opiates, such as meperidine or fentanyl, benzodiazepines, such as midazolam or diazepam, or a hypnotic, such as propofol. The choice among these agents is a matter of personal preference, but typically consists of a benzodiazepine administered alone or in combination with an opiate.
"...typically consists of a benzodiazepine administered alone..."  Want to guess which benzo they use?  That's right it's the damn Versed again.  
All around the web I find the same silence about which drug was used on Joan.  I can't even find information about whether she was given general anesthetic instead of simply amnesia via "sedation."  I guess that for once, HIPPA laws are being followed.  Or are the powers that be exerting their influence upon the media and deliberately hiding the fact that it was Versed which caused the problems for Joan?  After all, Versed is the most favored drug for anything and everything.  Mustn't alarm patients about the amnesia drug.  Can't tell them that this drug has killed a bunch of children in dentist's offices and patients across a broad spectrum have had dire consequences from Versed.  Nope, Versed is just too convenient for the medical field for them to reveal what is happening vis a vis its use.  So we are left to try to read between the lines...  I think it was Versed that was involved in Joan's problem.  Just my opinion.  Read up on the severe side effects of this wonder drug... 

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Is This What Happened To You?

I got this e-mail today;


First, thank you for your wonderful blog. It is refreshing and reassuring to know that there are others who share at least some of my feelings. My story isn't all that exciting, but I hope you'll read and comment on it.

A few years ago, I had a scheduled endoscopy at a local hospital. I was told that I would be given sedation that would allow me to be awake through the procedure but that I should bring a driver to take me home afterwards. I was given an IV that made me feel very woozy and I remember the nurse putting a numbing paste on the back of my throat. After what seemed like a minute or two I asked when they were going to start. The nurse told me they'd already done the procedure and I was going to be taken to recovery. I was never, ever told that I would be given a drug (Versed) that would induce amnesia! I was upset about this at the time but never said anything.

Last week I had a colonoscopy scheduled for Thursday. By Monday of that week, I still hadn't received any paperwork from the clinic so I stopped by and was given a copy. I read through it at lunch time, and realized they were planning to sedate me. This was not an option in any case as I had nobody to drive me home, but the paperwork said I would be given a sedative to "relax" me and a narcotic for pain. I asked the receptionist what drugs were given, and told it was Versed and Demerol. I told him in no uncertain terms that I did not want the Versed. I was told that I could still not drive home with the Demerol alone, and that I could request the procedure without any drugs but that this was "not recommended." I told him this was what I wished to do (no drugs), and he said he'd check with the doc and get back to me. The doc was OK with not using any drugs.

On the day of my procedure, the MA who took my history and vitals already knew I wanted to do the procedure without Versed or Demerol. She marked this on my wrist band and on my chart as well. A saline IV was started, which was acceptable because I know they need access in case anything goes wrong (like a punctured bowel and they have to give me a transfusion.) The nurse and doctor doing the procedure were very friendly and professional and did not question or patronize me for wanting to do the procedure without drugs. The procedure went fine...just a little bit of crampy gas from time to time.

Although my request to not have Versed (or Demerol) was handled perfectly by everyone involved, I have become more and more angry and suspicious over the past few days about why my preparation instructions never mentioned I would be given an amnesic. If I hadn't had the endoscopy 5 years ago, I never would have thought to ask this question. I've discussed this with some colleagues in the medical field (I myself am an EMT and preparing for PA school), and I invariably get an incredulous look and something along the lines of "Well, why wouldn't anybody want to forget?" This is MY body, MY mind, MY life and I decide what happens! I can't even begin to believe that most people don't think this omission about what Versed really does isn't a problem! I WANT MY MEMORIES INTACT...even the bad ones, even the very traumatic ones, and NOBODY has the right to steal them from me! Why do I feel like I'm the only person who feels like this? I so need validation about this right now.

I did call the Patient Advocacy department at the hospital today and explained my concern to a very nice nurse. She contacted the nurse manager in gastroenterology, who said she will bring this up at a meeting tomorrow and see if there is a consensus to modify the colonoscopy preparation paperwork to say that a drug that "makes patients forget" will be given during the procedure. The nurse manager from gastro is supposed to call me tomorrow and let me know the outcome. We'll see. If they refuse to change the wording to make it more transparent, I think their motives are quite clear. In any case, I told the nurse from patient advocacy that for any future procedures I was to be given NO Versed, NO benzodiazepenes, and NO amnesics of any kind, ever. She told me the information would be put on my hospital record. We'll see about that, too.

First of all this is an example of the HUGE problem with not only Versed, but "informed consent" in general.  This patient, quite rightly, was upset that the "sedation" (medical doublespeak, Versed is nothing like a sedative) wasn't completely explained to him.  He obviously expected to be sedated (made serene) but not to experience a complete blackout of events.  Medical people fake surprise when somebody mentions that they should have been told of the AMNESIA.  "Oh my goodness, why would anybody want to remember their procedure?"  Patient rights demand that we are told exactly what will happen to us.  Pretending that the patient is somehow outside the realm of normalcy by not wanting chemical Alzheimers is WRONG.  Ommiting pertinant information about a drugs action is illegal, no matter how much medical people want to pretend that it's normal.  They CONCEAL the drug itself in order to CONCEAL the procedure from the patient.  Why do they want to CONCEAL everything from the patient?  They have no RIGHT to do this, or to act like "everybody" wants amnesia.  Everybody does NOT want amnesia.  It is our right to KNOW what Versed is and does, and we have the right to REFUSE THIS DRUG.

Fortunately this particular patient was allowed to refuse drugs without repercussions.  Nobody sneaked it into his "saline".  So there is some progress.  However this patient noticed the false and misleading verbiage in his second encounter.  He was alert and aware of medical fraud as it pertains to their AMNESIA drug.  Medical people want to use this drug for two reasons  1) it allows them to treat their patient roughly without fear of being caught.  2)  it adds thousands of dollars to the most routine procedures.  Notice that there is nothing about Versed being "good" for patients.  These medical people have seen over and over, just how bad this drug is for a lot of people.  They have become inured to patient suffering because of Versed.  THEY want to use Versed and have come up with myriad ways to sneak it into unsuspecting patients.  The lack of concise language in the so-called "informed consent" is a deliberate ploy to get what they want.

As far as the "new and improved" information in the patient paperwork describing Versed as "making patients forget" this is yet another ruse to make patients sanguine about medical care so that they can be abused.  Versed doesn't "make you forget" which sound innocuous, it gives you complete and total amnesia along with abnormal obedience and a motor mouth.  Why not say what Versed really does?  I'm sure that there are patients who might like this!   If everybody welcomes amnesia and hates the idea of remembering every detail of their procedure, then what's the problem with being honest and transparent?  After all, if ALL patients want to forget the whole thing, then medical people would gleefully detail what Versed is and does, wouldn't they?   So why don't they?

Sunday, August 10, 2014

E-Mail From A Friend

I got the following e-mail from a friend of mine.  The entire e-mail is here along with the link.

 I checked out AllExperts today, and was surprised to read Dr. Levy's response to a patient who had problems with Versed.
It doesn't sound like him at all ! Besides saying that providers "should have no problem" with the patient refusing Versed,
he admitted that it "was likely Versed caused the problem," not Propofol, which he now toots as a "wonderful drug,"
something he always said about Versed.
Is it finally sinking in that patients really ARE having problems, or is he just giving up the fight ?

The doctor referenced in the e-mail has been an ardent supporter of Versed and has, in the past, endorsed this drug while belittling people who had a problem with it.  It does seem that he has turned the corner.  I guess hundreds of questions from unhappy patients regarding the long term effects of Versed has made him reevaluate his support for Versed.  One can hope.  

I do not endorse Propofol either.  Anything that disrupts the memory of the brain, but leaves the rest intact is not something I would chance.  Also I have read that the "patient cooperation" is better with Propofol than Versed.  I don't like the sound of that.  For me, either I am completely knocked out or completely awake.  Nothing in between and certainly not forced into obedience!  The doctor says that Propofol is a necessary part of anesthesia, but I beg to differ.  What did the anesthetists do before Propofol was invented?  Case closed.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

AWESOME Comment From A Nurse!

I got a really good comment by a nurse in regard to this comment from my post "I'm Sorry For The Anesthesia Nurses". 

AnonymousApril 11, 2013 at 12:07 PM
Actually a CRNA IS qualified to deliver anesthesia. In fact, CRNAs were administering anesthesia long before there was any such thing as an anesthesiologist. To become a CRNA, one must complete a bachelor's degree in nursing (with at least a 3.5 GPA for most CRNA schools), pass the NCLEX certification exam, complete at least 2 years of bedside nursing in the intensive care unit, get a high score on the Graduate Record Examination, apply, interview, and be accepted to a credentialed CRNA program, complete 2 years of rigorous coursework and clinicals, and pass a licensing exam. We are taught and are qualified to do everything an anesthesiologist (MDA) can do. No one with a doctorate in basket weaving is qualified to provide anesthesia, unless of course the basket weaving degree was earned in addition to their Master's of Nurse Anesthesia, Doctorate of Nurse Anesthesia, or Medical degree. Please get your facts straight before posting ignorant rants on topics which you know nothing about.

As you can see the comment is from (obviously) an anesthesia nurse.  I want everybody to know how these nurses feel about "stupid" patients who do not know anything about anything.  "Ignorant rants" is what they all say when you object to being poisoned with Versed.  Boo Hoo, I'm so crushed to be denigrated!  (NOT)  Anyway, the following is a rebuttal to the above comment.   I promise you that *I* am not the author of the following... 

As someone who did a second bachelor's degree program in nursing I find it a joke that a "3.5 GPA" is a valid argument. The only time in my life I ever made "Dean's List" was in nursing school, if that tells you anything. My husband is a physician (M.D.) as was my father. They refuse to ever let anyone other than another PHYSICIAN WHO SPECIALIZES in anesthesia even look at them. Both said they themselves would never touch anesthesia as too many things can-and do-go wrong. Just as they were not qualified, neither is a CRNA who has no where near the education or experience of a board certified ANESTHESIOLOGIST who completed a much more difficult undergrad than nursing and most likely with higher than a "3.5." Afterwards 4 MORE YEARS of medical school and THEN YEARS of residency /fellowship which consisted of NO LESS THAN 120 HOURS PER WEEK! (I remember him being gone for days at a time, despite living in resident housing right behind the Emergency Department of the hospital. A CRNA's training can not even come anywhere close to that. My father used to say, If nurses want to 'play doctor' then they should have gone to medical school. Nurses have their place, as do internists, pediatrician a, etc. but anesthesia is most definitely NOT one of them. 

Now you can see that while I like most floor nurses I detest anesthesia nurses.  I absolutely AGREE with everything this nurse says.  She is bright, well written and knows what she is talking about.  Compare her comment against the nasty, humorless, sanctimonious first comment.   That's the difference between anesthesia nurses who want total control and will conk you in the head with Versed just to get rid of you and the nurse directly above.  Amazing difference isn't it?