Wednesday, August 14, 2019
If You Smoke Pot, Your Anesthesiologist Needs To Know
DENVER — When Colorado legalized marijuana, it became a pioneer in creating new policies to deal with the drug.
Now the state’s surgeons, nurses and anesthesiologists are becoming pioneers of a different sort in understanding what weed may do to patients who go under the knife.
Their observations and initial research show that marijuana use may affect patients’ responses to anesthesia on the operating table — and, depending on the patient’s history of using the drug, either help or hinder their symptoms afterward in the recovery room.
Colorado makes for an interesting laboratory. Since the state legalized marijuana for medicine in 2000 and allowed for its recreational sale in 2014, more Coloradans are using it — and they may also be more willing to tell their doctors about it.
Roughly 17% of Coloradans said they used marijuana in the previous 30 days in 2017, according to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, more than double the 8% who reported doing so in 2006. By comparison, just 9% of U.S. residents said they used marijuana in 201
“It has been destigmatized here in Colorado,” said Dr. Andrew Monte, an associate professor of emergency medicine and medical toxicology at the University of Colorado School of Medicine and UCHealth. “We’re ahead of the game in terms of our ability to talk to patients about it. We’re also ahead of the game in identifying complications associated with use.”
Read more: https://khn.org/news/if-you-smoke-pot-your-anesthesiologist-needs-to-know/