BackTable / VI / Podcast / Episode #381
Anesthesia vs. Moderate Sedation: A Spectrum of Care
with Dr. Vishal Kumar
In this episode, interventional radiologists Dr. Aaron Fritts, Dr. Vishal Kumar, and Dr. Chris Beck discuss types of sedation for IR procedures.
BackTable, LLC (Producer). (2023, November 3). Ep. 381 – Anesthesia vs. Moderate Sedation: A Spectrum of Care [Audio podcast]. Retrieved from https://www.backtable.com
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Dr. Vishal Kumar
Dr. Vishal Kumar is an interventional radiologist with UCSF in California.
Dr. Christopher Beck
Dr. Chris Beck is a practicing interventional radiologist with Regional Radiology Group in New Orleans.
Dr. Aaron Fritts
Dr. Aaron Fritts is a Co-Founder of BackTable and a practicing interventional radiologist in Dallas, Texas.
We start the discussion off by dividing the spectrum of patient sedation into three tiers: local anesthesia, moderate sedation with fentanyl and Versed, and deep sedation which encompasses anything beyond fentanyl and Versed. The conversation revolves around the fluidity of this spectrum, underscoring the ease with which patients can transition between these sedation levels, thereby adding layers of complexity to the decision-making process. Chris emphasizes the significance of embracing trauma-informed care, highlighting the potential for IR procedures to be maximally traumatic despite their minimally invasive nature. The doctors emphasize the importance of establishing comprehensive pre-procedural patient education to align expectations about pain management.
Procedures that automatically trigger the requirement for an anesthesia team include procedures such as TIPS, tumor ablations, as well as declot procedures more recently. Decisions regarding anesthesia for these procedures are additionally influenced by factors such as the patient's condition, history of methadone exposure, the preference of the IR providers, and the comfort level of nursing staff.
Vishal highlights the game-changing concept of having an anesthesia team present for real-time monitoring and the administration of nerve blocks during IR procedures. This collaboration is especially helpful for complex interventions. Vishal advocates for prioritizing patient safety over logistical considerations. He firmly contends IRs should be empowered to decide the level of anesthesia care since they have the most experience with the specific procedures and are best suited to recognize anesthesia needs.
The conversation delves into the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) scoring system, which categorizes patients based on their health status from ASA 1 (healthy) to ASA 6 (brain death). While IR procedures usually involve ASA 3 or ASA 4 patients, today’s discussion uncovers the tendency among clinicians to underestimate a patient's ASA classification while overestimating their pain tolerance. The discussion raises critical questions about whether the IR community has grown complacent with moderate sedation in procedures and whether alternative approaches are warranted.
American Society of Anesthesiologists Classification (ASA) Classification:
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