Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Local News


Using local anesthesia, I always took care to do it gently, slowly, and thoroughly, and had reason to be proud of the results. Almost routinely, patients expressed their happiness and relief that the process was so... not unpleasant. I've written a bit about it before.

So when I couldn't seem to make someone numb, it hurt. As it were. In addition to having a dissatisfied patient, it made me feel like a failure. It has always been my belief that there are some people who, for some unknown biological reason, process the drugs differently; that it's more than just a few 'fraidy cats or me having a bad day. Now, it seems, there's substantiation. It's those darn redheads.

It never occurred to me to check. I wish I could play back the scenes in my head, in full color. Were the unhappy ones all rubro-capited? There's much I know now that I wish I'd known a few decades ago (and not all of it is surgery-related.) And there've been a few notable redheads in my life. Until now, I've had nothing but happy memories.

12 comments:

Timmyson said...

My girlfriend told me about this. She is a redhead, and the daughter of a former delivery-room nurse, and her mother used to give more/stronger painkillers to gingers.

LenapeGirl said...

My daughter is both a strawberry blonde and left-handed. She claims that both conditions require more anesthesia. Ever hear of that?

Sid Schwab said...

Never heard the left-hand thing. Hair color seems more understandable, since it's more "chemical." Far as I know, anyway.

Adjuster Mike said...

Okay, don't think I'm weird, but... I saw this video on Youtube ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i3C_LRDB5SQ&feature=PlayList&p=6F7BCFB1314C6460&playnext=1&playnext_from=PL&index=20 )

about labiaplasty. This really hot girl decides it's too big (brunette by the way) and has the surgeon trim it down. On camera he injects the local into her labia and says, "in one minute you will not feel anything." He then uses surgical tweezers to pull the skin out. She yelps (so much for not feeling anything). He says, "you're not taking drugs are you" and then uses a scalpel and with a few strokes, slices it off and then shows it to the camera. The entire time, she seems to be in a fair amount of pain.

All of that graphic detail is to say this; this surgeon didn't seem to really care that she wasn't "numb" yet, and still went to work. Couldn't he have waited another minute or given her another shot. Seems unethical, even evil.

I wonder if this would be covered by "Obamacare". :-)

AlisonH said...

I will now be more sympathetic to my redheaded husband's complaints on things I can just shrug off. Thank you.

Sam Spade said...

That explains a lot. I'm strawberry blonde (and left-handed), and generally sensitive to drugs, yet Novocaine and anaesthesia always fail me.

Once, notably, a dentist chided me for jumping when the drill encountered a nerve. Sigh.

Whitny said...

Redheads also seem more prone to postpartum hemorrhage. Wonder if they are less responsive to ocytocin or something?

Whitny said...

sorry. *oxytocin. I've been typing-challenged these days.

Stacey said...

Thought I would post this as I am one of the ones who feel absolutely NO effect from Local Anesthetics (had a dentist refuse to work on my after giving me the highest legel dose with no numbing). There is a rare disorder called "Ehlers Danlos Syndrome" and in particular the Hypermobile type of this disorder that experience no numbing of any type of local anethetics. I have had 3 different dental locals, tried 3 or 4 perscription 'numbing' creams (for the chronic pain this disorder causes) and countless OTC's that claim to be a local. If your patient does not resond to locals and has joint problems or any weird healing or scarring issues you might want them to look into this. Here is a link about it (FYI the UK calls it BJHS for Benign Joint Hypermobility Syndrome, where as most places it is called Ehlers Danlos Syndrome Hypermobile Type).

http://jrsm.rsmjournals.com/cgi/content/full/98/2/84

Stacey said...

BTW I am also a redhead ;)

Sid Schwab said...

Thanks, Stacey, for the excellent information.

Stacey said...

Your welcome :) Not many doctors have ever seen it so any chance I get I like to try to get some info about it out.