America's Funniest Post-Anesthesia Stories #1 (Surgeon Blog Entry)

4년 전

So today a patient of mine recently went kind of nuts and tried to escape our stretcher after we had woken him up. He sat up (not bad, but we operate on the keep arms/legs inside the vehicle protocol), then ripped his gown off (not great), and then peed everywhere (crowning achievement) - but bad my-name-in-vein, teaches you to try and get him through without a catheter. This happens much more commonly than you think, some people wake up from anesthesia completed disoriented and somewhat dissociated.

The majority will never remember it (post anesthestic amnesia) but it can be like dealing with a wild animal in there. They can be completely different than their personality. Usually it tends to be guys on the youngish side.

It's usually pretty easy to deal with - you grab their hands so they can't accidentally scratch their eyes or pull out the breathing tube too soon. You lean on their body to make sure they can't sit up, because you don't want them falling off the bed or ripping dressings or whatever. It can be pretty dangerous for a post operative patient to be thrashing around. Usually it doesn't matter how strong they are - they aren't fully awake yet, of course.

...but usual doesn't describe this past patient of mine - lets call him Bob. Bob was a -super- nice, pretty young (~45 yr old) guy who needed a cranial surgery to correct a condition and restore normal function. Bob had a young ~10 year old son who Bob was raising on his own. Bob was pretty tall, around 6'3" and built like a lumberjack.

Bob was a nice guy. Bob, for whatever reason, woke up from anesthesia thinking his kid was in danger and that Bob had to go save him. Bob +anesthesia + thought of his kid in danger was a raging bull - like a demon awoken in the exorcist.

It was like:


followed by:


...The entire nursing staff in the room, me as the junior resident, the anesthesiologist, and a couple of nearby scrub techs all piled on to keep Bob safe and still until the anesthesia wore off. We were kneed in the face, jerked around, and basically it was a tangle of limbs and bodies trying to keep the daddy Bob-bear on the table.

I was holding onto Bob's hand for dear life, keeping it locked down. I couldn't let Bob scratch at his eyes or punch us in the face. Bob was surprisingly strong, yet I held my grip tight. Bob didn't let me go, either, and I was starting to get a little bit worried I'd never get my hand back...

Finally, Bob calmed down. Everyone slowly back away from the operating room table.

I tried to extricate my hand...and looked down, only to find that in the tangle, I'd been holding the hand of the anesthesiologist the entire time. Cue major blush mode. Sheepishly, we looked at one another and let go, and promised to never speak of our close encounter of the surgical kind again.

Fortunately, Bob did great, and never remembered our wild ride. And as far as my anesthesia buddy who I'd unintentionally done some team bonding with? ....I just hope my palms weren't too sweaty.

Questions, comments, funny stories of your own?

Share them below!

(GIFs from and image credit from

Authors get paid when people like you upvote their post.
If you enjoyed what you read here, create your account today and start earning FREE STEEM!
Sort Order:  trending

Thanks for sharing, got a few good laughs from it @my-name-in-vein!


It was definitely one of the most awkward moments in the hospital ever, straight out of something like Scrubs.


I miss that show. I always hear funny stories from my brother similar to this, he's a firefighter/paramedic and my sister works as a nurse at a juvy detention center...some CRAZY stories!...Following for more

AWESOME Followed and upvoted ..!


Thank you! Followed back !

Eehhh what's up doc? Got a question.. can multiple dosages of anesthesia (from surgery) cause some degree of memory loss in the long-term?


I'm not sure we have the greatest data on that. My answer is thus going to be 'maybe', but the question is: what degree of memory loss, and for how long? It may be very minimal - you might never remember your surgery ever, or you might just kind of be forgetful for a few months after general anesthesia.

On a brief sweep of that question, there may be some data in mice that shows anesthetic agents can lead to some post operative cognitive difficulties for a variable amount of time.

The bottom line is - we don't know for 100%, but the vast majority of people tolerate anesthesia - even multiple or extended doses, without noticing permanent effects. It's still something we try to limit and avoid anesthetizing everyone unless absolutely necessary (especially kids), because nothing we give in medicine is 100% without risks, and we have to be cognizant of that.


Sorry missed this one. Thanks for replying. I have been through three surgeries, two with general anesthesia and one localized (arm). They were at 10 years, 24, and the last was passed 30. I always felt it was difficult to access names, and other info from memory. I even tried taking those memory enhancing supplements. I understand that it's quite a complicated area of study and we may not have concrete findings in the near future.

Thanks for sharing!